Team alignment and selection is key in order to manage project effectively, and it is especially important since the process involves handling individual ambitions and expectations.
Effective project team is committed and supportive towards each other, but also fundamentally compatible and technically prepared to handle the project. Even with best efforts put into it, if a project requires a significant learning curve for all its members, it will most likely fail. Individual preparation of each and every member of the team is, therefore, one of the most important aspects when selecting the team.
On the other hand, soft skills are crucial to deal with egos and maintain all members motivated. Therefore, the leader of the project must possess a great deal of empathy, capability of observation and diplomacy needed when dealing with conflict. Every team member should know their value and how important they are for the overall project.
Paul Smith in his article Build an effective project team (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. underlines 5 factors to build great teams:
Much of the leadership is based on the power of psychology and on the influence implemented to extract the best from each team. Thus, successful leaders use team management techniques aimed at being supportive and guide the people they lead.
High performance teams are usually the ones that keep constantly motivated. Empathy, communication and trust are essential when optimising towards efficiency.
In an article Improve your teams efficiency (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Jennifer Bridges gives some tips to optimise towards efficiency:
Even with best efforts, teams sometimes fail. Usually, it is due to unclear goals or not transmitted in a correct way to each one of the team members. Sometimes the teams fail due to lack of interest by the management or ineffective leadership - if there is no leader, the team can hardly succeed.
Finally, personal conflicts can also lead to teams failure. With unhealthy relationship and conflicts, competition or rising individualism, the team is not going to be productive, focusing on personal aspects rather than actions and deliverables.