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Issues Affecting Project Teams

In this section we will examine some of the issues affecting project teams, including the following:

  • Assessing Internal Skills: Technical skills are obviously important in project teams, but a first-class team also needs to have the right mix of soft skills, personalities and attitudes. Project teams shouldn't be too large, ideally being restricted to four or five members. The attitude and work ethic of team members is at least as important as their skills and experience. Diversity is also important when building a team, so that the team can benefit from different points of view. It can be useful if team members have worked together before, as the team will gel more quickly. One factor which is often underrated is the availability of team members. If your first choice isn't available, you may have to make do with someone else.
  • Creating a Team: Many project teams have two types of members:
  • Core members will be with the project from beginning to end and normally have a broad range of skills which will be applicable throughout the project.
  • Non-core members may also be brought in where specific skills are needed for a short period or to carry out a particular task.

We will look at a number of desirable characteristics which should be taken into account when selecting team members.

  • Managing Team Issues: Conflicts will inevitably arise in any team, eg where members have a difference of opinion or where a customer disagrees with actions taken by the team. Obviously, such conflicts must be resolved. This can be a sensitive area as conflicts are, by their nature, confrontational. We will consider some of the most important skills involved in resolving conflicts.
  • Using External Resources: We've already noted that resources can be defined as the personnel, equipment, materials and services required to complete tasks in a project. In many cases it will be possible to obtain all the resources required to complete a project from within the organisation, but in some cases external resources may be required. We will consider some of the implications of this, particularly the factors involved in bringing in external contract staff.

Next: Assessing Internal Skills