Practical issues in getting the best out of Project Management teams

The booming Information Technology industry has spawned a new breed of specialists who collectively work under the banner of ‘project management’. Project management is today an established discipline, but it is still an evolving discipline that is striving to reach the right level of reliability and maturity that is necessary in order to develop loyalty among customers. Given the high level of people expertise required in project management, organisations are now paying close attention to the proper development of the teams that are put in-charge of project management.

Some of the practical considerations in developing effective project management teams are as follows:

The right level of experience: Project management in the software industry is today a highly competitive arena and if software firms want that winning edge, they have to be careful in the selection of people on their teams. More experience still spells better work and if a rival firm offers project teams that have a wider experience under their belt, customers are bound to consider that a better option for their business. And more experience does not necessarily imply number of years; it could also mean more projects handled of a similar nature.

Allowing teams to taking ownership of the project from the start: It’s called the end-to-end product development process, and is considered to be the most effective way to handle projects. It requires getting the teams totally involved from the start on all aspects of the projects right until its final implementation. Innovative thinking is reportedly at its best when teams are allowed to own the ideas from the very beginning.

The integration of technology, processes, team expertise: Technology investments and process change pay off for an organisation when the effort is made to upgrade the skills of the teams to ensure that they are certified to the standards of leading software vendors.

Turning nerds into ‘people’s persons’: The computer geek of yesterday is today a ‘front’ person for the organisation, talking and directly interacting with clients and managing the client expectations on a project. People skills and soft skills training (with guidelines on how they should behave and present themselves to clients) are important in building long-term client relationships.

Besides the above, all other issues that apply to regular office teams hold good in project management teams as well. Factors such as providing the right challenge, stimulating motivation with a proper reward system, enabling the team process through role clarity, and the use of team building programs to improve team cohesion – all such issues are relevant in project management teams also.

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