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Thursday, February 05, 2009
My Love/Hate Relationship with Project Teams (Re-run)
Project teams can be a project manager's greatest resource or can be a huge impediment to getting things done. I have a lot of opinions about project teams and most people would find them to be controversial. I will state them here and hope for feedback.
My general theories about project teams follow:
Project teams tend to waste a lot of time, and like to blame others (outside the team) for lack of project process
Project team members are rarely on the same page
Internal politics doom many project teams from the start
Project managers usually don't have the ability to reward or punish bad behavior
One or two "bad apples" can spoil the whole bunch
Many functional managers don't believe they have to support project teams, and at times they do all they can to undermine the team approach to managing projects
A team "visionary" is a person that is usually disengaged from everything and accountable for nothing
Lack of leadership, direction, and follow-up from top management is the number one cause of project team failure
If you have a member of your project team that would rather be doing something else, do everything you can to grant their wish
Most project managers are wimps when it comes to managing individual members of their teams
Lots of organizations talk a good talk when it comes to project management and teams, then go about managing change using the same old failed processes
Many project team members are loyal to their functional departments, not to the project
Teams by nature are dysfunctional, and because of this fact the project schedule and estimates should reflect this
Dysfunctional project teams are the fault of senior management because of their refusal to attend important project team meetings
Many project teams are composed of the wrong people doing the wrong things at the wrong times.
I guess you've seen that all live. However bringing many of these opinion on a general level you aren't fair for many project teams.
Most of issues you present can be avoided if company culture is healthy and there's strong leadership in the team.
Of course when you have som bad apples it's always a problem and even with the best approach you don't have to end with a perfect team.
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