Teamwork in Project Management

Everyone that has worked in team projects can agree that each project is different. Even those handled by the same groups, vary on timing, scope or costs. These situations usually drive into a crisis that teams must resolve.

Project managers are increasingly assigned to Agile Methodologies projects. Learn the general guiding principles to apply them on our blog post Surviving Agile Methodologies and Project Management.

How can you manage the team involved in project development and minimize the impact of situations that could arise?

Teamwork Basis

Teamwork implies a set of skills oriented to communication, conflict management, negotiation, and leadership. Is very important to have the team motivated through challenging tasks and recognition.

Following up the team performance, identifying important feedback, solving issues and managing necessary changes allows optimizing the project deployment.

Sensibility to the willingness and capacity of each member of the team to perform their task is critical to adjust the leadership and management of the team. Members with low qualification skills may need more throughout supervision than those demonstrating capacity and experience.

Teamwork Inputs

Specific information can help in achieving the project’s goals. Making proper decisions regarding team members, improving the inside intel for future plans (Learned lessons), or even adapting baselines when is necessary, is vital to encourage the team’s feedback.

Some documents make this job more comfortable, such as:

  • Incident registration
  • Learned lessons register
  • Team assignment (Roles and responsibilities of a team member)
  • Team evaluation report
  • Team constitution policy document. (It provides a guideline on the defined policies for conflict resolution, communication plan and decision taking way)

Teamwork Tools

Conflict Management

Conflicts are inevitable in a project environment. Lack of resources, change of priorities or even personal work styles are a source of disputes. Among the facts which define the way to solve a conflict we have:

  • Conflict intensity and importance
  • Timing deadline for conflict resolution
  • Influence of people involved in the conflict
  • Importance of keeping a good relationship

There are four general techniques for conflict resolution. Each one has its place and application time:

  • Retreat/Avoid: Retreat of a real or potential conflict, postpone the incident to get prepared better.
  • Ease up/Adapt: Focus on agreement points instead of non-agreement ones.
  • Agree/Reconcile: Search for solutions that provide partial satisfaction level to all involved parts to resolve the conflict temporally.
  • Force/Lead: Impose a point of view no matter others opinion. This is a win-lose and is common in emergencies.

Decision Making

Capacity for negotiation and influence in project management. Some tips for decision making are:

  • Focus on defined goals.
  • Follow up a pre-defined taking decision process.
  • Taking care of environmental factors.
  • Analyze available intel.
  • Push creativity in the team.
  • Take care of risk.
  • Emotional Intelligence.

The capacity to identify, evaluate and manage personal and external emotions is very useful for tension release and increase cooperation through identification, evaluation, and control of team member feelings.

Leadership in Project Management

This may be the most essential skill in teamwork, and it is the protagonist during the entire project. There are full leadership theories that define leader styles in different contexts. It is critical to get the whole team familiarized with the project vision to get a high performance of the team.

These guidelines on how to deal with team projects and conflict resolution allow project managers to avoid risks, improve team performance and develop new guidelines for the next challenge.

Project managers are increasingly assigned to Agile Methodologies projects. Learn the general guiding principles to apply them on our blog post Surviving Agile Methodologies and Project Management.

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