Project Management is a Team Sport

As a project manager I provide a focal point for the project team.  The project team is actually made up of all key stakeholders, whether they be on the client (purchasing) side or the supplier (delivery) side.

Key features of good team management as I see it are:

  • Clear, concise and regular communications
  • Adapting communication styles to fit differing stakeholder needs
  • Providing team members with well defined tasks and deliverables
  • Monitoring the execution of those tasks
  • Mentoring and coaching team members to help them perform best.

Transport and Logistics SME

This project had a lot of interested stakeholders: the supplier of legacy software to be replaced, three new software suppliers including a specialist WMS supplier, new hardware suppliers, senior management of the purchasing organisation, warehouse staff and drivers and customers (which were other businesses).

In addition to the usual project teleconferences, face to face meetings and workshops I also held Agile-like stand-up meetings with warehouse staff who were testing the new equipment and procedures before going live.  This helped create focus and a sense of urgency concerning testing.  It also helped convince staff that their issues were being taken seriously and that a new system was not going to be simply imposed upon them.

Team-ManagementAgile - encouraging project teams to take responsibility.

Multi-national supplier of legal software and information

This project was created to explore the feasibility of using, and perhaps combining, different application software solutions as a means of delivering legal information (case reports, statutes and updates) to lawyers.

To do this I assembled a multi-disciplinary team of people with skills in software development and data presentation.  I also identified and included people with a known flair for innovation, as this was in reality an R&D project.  The team was dispersed geographically and, given the R&D nature of the project, it is fair to say team members often came under pressure to relegate this project work in favour of their business as usual tasks.

InnovationTeam Management fostering innovation

To counter this I visited different offices regularly to meet with team members in person.  I also created mock-ups of how a potential solution might work, based on my technical understanding.  My challenge to the team was to ask if they could improve upon this and deliver a working demonstration.  I am delighted to say the team took up the challenge and created a working demonstration which was shown to senior management.