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5 Strategies for Effectively Managing Project Teams

5 Strategies for Effectively Managing Project Teams

Ensure Balance Within the Team

Creating balance in a project management team is necessary for making the most of diverse skills, keeping the workload under control, and guaranteeing that each team member is motivated and productive. The first thing to do is balancing skills, and this means that the project manager should review the current state of skills among team members and allocate tasks in such a way that they benefit each member of the team based on their skills and abilities. For instance, if a team member is skilled in analytics, they could be assigned tasks relating to budget forecasting, which may be delivered in a direct analytical form with a precise focus on specific numbers.

The next aspect of balance relates to the workload and, in this case, a project manager should ensure that no team member is routinely overloaded with work so as to avoid burnout. I could track how many hours each team member has spent on the tasks in order to monitor workloads. Recording this through an app would make visualizing and monitoring this easier, and using Asana or JIRA would create a visualization that demonstrates a workload range in which no team member is routinely working more than 40-50 hours a week.

There is also a social aspect to balance, which is about listening to people and making them feel welcome to come forward with the ideas. Team meetings could be held once a month in a round-table format to make people comfortable with making suggestions or discussing potential challenges. This would be essential for maintaining balance, when all team members feel valued and listened to. Finally, a project manager should consider arranging quarterly workshops or training sessions, where an expert could be invited to talk about the new type of project management software or project management technique. A project manager could also deliver the training session, which could focus more on developing a professional set of skills, such as conducting better market research.

Ensure Visibility and Transparency

Being part of a project team, one has to know that keeping visibility and transparency is key to overall trust, accountability, and ultimately, project success. Communication plays the central role in achieving visibility and transparency . This means that all decisions, changes, and updates to the project are communicated to the entire team. For instance, if the project timeline is delayed, the information should be communicated immediately during a meeting or within the project management tool, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, in which the explicit reasons and the new timeline are provided.

Implementing open access tools to the entire team is among the most effective means to ensure transparency. For example, using Trello, each task that every one of the team is working on is available for the visualization and can be updated in real-time. Trello is not the only available tool, though – for example, at one of the projects I was part of, the board was used with three columns: ‘To Do’, ‘Doing’, and ‘Done’, and the cards for each task which included the task name, person assigned, due dates, and the latest update.

Next is the status meetings, which is the most fundamental element. They should be reoccurring and include the entire team in attendance, and ensure that status meetings run tight reins. These meetings may be weekly or bi-weekly and ensure that members of the team report their status, signal issues, and agree on a path forward. The project manager is responsible for ensuring the meeting is tight, with a 30-minute duration and perhaps an agenda, to keep it sharp and focused.

Lastly and most fundamentally, the environment must be feedback oriented. This means either reoccurring one-on-one meetings with the project manager or regular feedback meetings which are encouraged to discuss what went well and what did not of a certain piece of work. For example, having implemented a piece of it, the project manager should organize feedback session to understand the sentiments of the team if it went well or if it did not, and talk about why.

Ensure Effective Internal Communication

Any successful project management is unthinkable without efficient internal communication. The first step is to reduce the information noise in which projects often fail. The emphasis should be on the proper choice of communication tools . The task is to find such a platform where the teams will be located and which will be suitable for the project for which they are created. For example, it is possible to choose Slack or Microsoft Teams for quick communications. As for e-mails, in this case, it would be more logical to use them for formal communications or more detailed project updates. Setting up the necessary rules and guidelines, and notifying everyone adequately makes the difference.

To keep the whole team up to date, it is recommended to use daily updates and instant reporting. Teams can set up daily stand-up meetings, which last no more than 15 minutes, where team members can quickly talk about their progress and problems. Such is an agile practice that will enable ten teams to understand each other’s status and better organize their day.

Converserly, information may be held in a single centralized repository . It is advisable that the company adopts Confluence or otherwise arranges a shared drive in Google Drive. It will pertain to all of the project’s documentations, reports, and media. This way, all sources of information are kept in a single report. Such a method is aimed to eliminate information disparity and avoid a situation when team members are not able to find a file they need. On the other hand, open dialogue creates a supporting and understanding environment. The company culture has to foster feedback so that team members feel safe to share their concerns and ask questions. For these purposes, shift managers can schedule one-on-one teammember check-ins with a participation of an anonymous feedback tool to make sure employees understand the mechanisms and feel each other’s support.

Cultivate a Culture of Collaboration

Cultivating a culture of collaboration within a working team is fundamental for improving its productivity and the quality of innovation. As for the primary strategies, team-building activities are usually at the core of the efforts. These can be as simple as exercises to break the ice at the beginning of each new meeting or more complex to take place in the form of team-building retreats focused on team skills . For example, it can be an off-site team-building workshop for a project team on a quarterly basis. Its activities can be dedicated to improving communication and trust among the team members. Concerning the tools and the space, it is vital for boosting skills in the area of teamwork. Teamwork can be promoted in this case with the use of collaborative tools or spaces. For example, message platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack and document and cover applications like Google Workspace or Office 365 significantly ease and simplify the sharing process.

Perhaps establishing a place for casual interaction in the office, called a collaboration corner, for ideas to be shared will be useful as well. The leadership-style, including supportive leaders that ensure quality improvement, is a critical aspect of the process as well. Promoting Open Communication , leaders should also be participating in the team-building activities as well. They could work as excellent team players. For instance, a project manager can ask for feedback on the decision from each team member over the email and then recognize and by name their contribution at the meeting. Finally, much can be said about rewarding teamwork. This can come in the form of rewards and awards for both teams and outstanding team members, which can be presented at company gatherings or be included in the internal newsletter.

Managing Internal Conflicts

Proactive resolution of internal conflicts is crucial for healthy teamwork and the success of the project. Signs that internal conflict may arise can be identified earlier, and steps can be taken. If two team members at work have different opinions more than once, it is necessary for the project manager to act. The most sensible thing may be to arrange a conversation with the opposing parties and simultaneously oversee the mediation session and help the parties agree. It is important to recognize that initiation is effective and that such methods of prevention can be applied beyond the field of business.

Significant importance lies in structured communication methods. To prevent any conflict from exploding into a big one, it is better when the team has structured ways of voicing dissatisfaction. These can be regular one-on-one meetings or anonymous feedback mechanisms. The most important thing is that team members know that they act as safe channels through which their concerns can be communicated and resolved. Team agreements can also help prevent many conflicts. To begin with, they are forms of control and a reminder of consequences, and secondly, they clearly define the communication and decision-making style, and, thirdly, they may include agreements to resolve future conflicts. Correct drafting of team agreements also prevents such conflicts because often the parties to the agreement say in a very detailed form what they agree on. Conflict resolution training also works. Workshops that teach people how to work with other skills, such as taking an opponent’s point of view or active listening, also provide the skills to resolve conflict. A half-day workshop entitled “Effective Communication in Teams” can offer several different scenarios with role play where people can practice resolving origin conflicts.

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