Project Practitioners > A Winning Team

A Winning Team

By Lisa DiTullio

The%20gym Do you remember standing toe-to-the-line in gym class, waiting to be picked as teams were called? If you weren't born with natural athletic ability, your best chance for being selected early in the process was when your friend was Captain for the Day. Does member selection for your project teams often feel eerily similar to school days?

Follow these easy steps to select a winning team:

  1. Identify what you need, not who you need. Clearly identify the skills, experience and qualifications for each required team member; you are more likely to find what you need when you recruit team members by attributes vs. names.
  2. Go for synergy. Aside from selecting team members who hold the “right” level of skill and expertise needed to support the project requirements, it is just as important to identify team members who are able to work well with others and exhibit consistent levels of cooperation among team members. A project team member who can get the job done but leaves a trail of destruction in his or her path is a less-than-ideal candidate for any team.
  3. Be willing to accept rookie players. New members bring a fresh perspective to solving project challenges; there's nothing like a fresh set of eyes to solve an old problem.
  4. Get to know your players. Always meet with team candidates more than once to get a true read of team fit. In addition to assessing a candidate's technical experience and emotional intelligence, it is also important to assess a candidate's work style and work/life balance philosophy.

Team members come in all shapes and sizes, with varying levels of training, expertise, experience, education, and background. Some team members come with extensive industry and/or subject matter expertise while others do not; many fall in between the two extremes. The challenge for every project manager is to know what you want in a team member before you search for one. Be thoughtful and precise in assessing the level of skill set you need (to support the size, type, and magnitude of your project) and overlay those requirements with emotional, social, and interpersonal intelligence requirements – a successful strategy for a winning team!

Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Lisa DiTullio & Associates, LLC,

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