Handling emerging changes and delegating tasks to team members is an important part of a project manager’s job. They must finish projects within the boundaries of scope, quality, time, and cost while acting decisively to rising challenges.
However, in a limited time, handling these challenges without the support of a qualified team, is difficult. Most management techniques overlook the impact of a team’s behavior on projects. Regardless of how efficient and hardworking you are as a manager, you can still fail if your team doesn’t deliver as expected.
This is why project managers need to invest in their teams instead of focusing on the project alone. Smart project managers make efforts to understand how their team functions and learn with observation and experience. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways a team can impact a project.
Motivation is a critical factor in the workplace and a key driver behind the performance. It enables the management to meet the organizational goals, enhances productivity, and improves overall output.
Unmotivated employees don’t focus on work and are not as much engaged. Such unproductive behavior causes unnecessary delays for the company and wastes considerable resources, especially if the majority of the workforce is affected by this. This is why companies need to pay attention to the level of motivation in employees.
Keeping teams motivated has always been a long-standing challenge for most project managers. To be a good project manager, you should have the expertise to manage your team’s functional and emotional factors.
Negligence in this matter can also cause high performing and strongly skilled employees to exhibit negative attitudes due to their emotional burden. If you don’t manage both factors simultaneously, you’ll end up delaying important projects that cost way higher than what you expected.
Collaboration and Engagement
In many project teams, silos become an obstacle in a team’s performance as a unit. Every team member has a unique personality and uses different ways of engaging and collaborating with people.
If engagement is minimal between different departments, collaboration suffers. Although project teams may still work together, the internalized nature of these group's team affects impact collaboration.
Engaging team members help diminish internal silos within project teams. This is why project managers are responsible for balancing internal teams effectively.
Project managers need to lay the groundwork to engage team members and stakeholders. This will help them to sustain a good relationship with all members and stakeholders in both the short and the long term.
You must monitor the level of engagement of individual team members across the project lifecycle. You should also address their emotional and personal expectations to bring about their best performance.
If you don’t address these issues yourself, it would be extremely difficult to create a good working environment among your team. Consequently, it would affect the performance of your team and make it harder for them to achieve the targets you set for them.
Understanding the culture of your team members is one of the most factors when it comes to project management. People are sensitive about their culture, and most times, it means different things for different people.
From the perspective of project management, culture means how people act in a professional environment. A person’s culture is something he or she carries as baggage along with himself or herself.
A project manager needs to interpret what kind of culture his organization has. However, doing that is extremely difficult, especially when you have to manage people spread across different regions.
People may respond differently to your instructions according to the culture they’re associated with. This may affect the productivity of your team and your ability to achieve goals within the given timeframe.
For this reason, managers have to be quick on their feet. While it does take some time, but investing your time and attention in understanding the culture of your team members can managers cope with problems more efficiently.
Project teams need to have a feedback loop to ensure that the team’s progress is in the right direction. Many project managers achieve this by organizing regular team meetings, chairing Project Board meetings, and talking with key stakeholders.
Receiving constructive feedback from senior members can help junior team members progress and grow as professionals. As the project manager, it’s important to encourage both formal and informal feedback within your team, as well as from your customers or clients. Discussing feedback from these systems can help your team improves as a whole.
A behavior is a range of actions and mannerisms exhibited by your team members. We may have different perceptions of people when we assign certain tasks to people. However, most times, people do not behave as we expect them to and display hidden characteristics over time.
Even team members who were seemingly distant and uninvolved in discussions could be only nervous because of the new environment.
To be able to use people according to their talents, you need to understand the hidden aspects of their behaviors and get the most of them.
Still, some people can do the opposite of this and negatively change their behavior. Their change of behavior can disrupt the flow of work and cause unnecessary delays.
When you’re working with a complex team of individuals and firefighting problems to keep the project on track, ensuring timely delivery of projects can be challenging. That said, every member of your team is a strategic asset for you.
As a project manager, it’s essential to address the cultural and behavioral aspects of your project team. Understanding and utilizing each team member’s strengths and weaknesses can help you use them effectively in different situations.
Despite the complexities within teams, if you address their concerns, motivate them, and maintain an inclusive and collaborative environment of collaboration, you can transform your team into your greatest strength.