Importance of Managing Teams to Project Managers

Being an Effective Team Leader in Project Management It is widely known that managing projects is a practical use of actions, methods, expertise, and capabilities, and experience to meet particular targets within a set timeframe (What is project management? 2020). Project management final outputs are restricted to defined time schedules and budgets. The distinction between the commonly known management and project management is that projects have a defined timeframe for, and goals have to be achieved within that set time while management is a continuous process. On the other hand, for project management to happen, there is a need to have a team.  Based on different competencies and gifts, individuals are selected very carefully based on their diverse skills and talents, and a team leader or typically commonly known as the project manager, is appointed.  Based on (Five Phases of the Project Management Lifecycle, 2019), projects comprise of various components but mostly follow through a project life cycle that will include: The firm being able to define the importance of the project; Being able to capture requirements, specify the goals, estimate the budget resources and also set the start and end of the projects;

Preparing a business proposal that will justify the investment;

The firm acquiring partners and raising funds for the project;

Coming up with and implementing an effective management plan;

Enforcing and motivating the project team;

The firm having the capability of managing risks, challenges, and changes;

Following up on the  progress against plan;

Effectively controlling the project resources and budget;

Appropriately closing the project in a controlled way. As a project manager, one vital thing I had to remember is that the team selected possesses different skill sets, talents, and capabilities. In most cases, that would be their first time working together. Because of high uncertainty levels, frequent changes in roles and responsibilities are bound to happen to require the team’s flexibility in adapting to new challenges (Project Management for Development Organizations, 2019). More so, time constraints pose a great challenge of stress while working on a project with high uncertainty ranging from new working areas, new stakeholders, or solutions never explored previously. As the project begins, teams are usually unclear about their roles and also the direction of the project because of new staff brought in to the team needs to adapt to the new place and also fully understand the organization’s mission, vision, and core values. All these factors considered tend to increase the frustration levels that are typical in new projects.  The unavailability of crucial personnel possibly increases the workload to other team members being tasked to take on more responsibilities than previously planned. An example of this scenario back in school when we were instructed to group ourselves for an agricultural project that involved preparing the land allocated to us, plant beans, and work on them till they are ready for harvest. Therefore my friends and I grouped ourselves without taking into consideration of availability or abilities. After a few weeks into the project, one of the group members and I were not available to attend to the project as we were always away from the school participating in school ball games competitions which meant that only the two that remained could work on the land and one of them was very lazy that it piled pressure on the last member of the group that he was about to quit and request for a transfer to the other group. Therefore as a team manager, it is important to note that my work is not limited to recruitment and reassignment of staff after the project ends, but also involves mindful planning to ensure that the right people are put on the project at the required time and doing the right things (Project Management for Development Organizations, 2019). I find effective team management critical because of the diversity in teams ranging from skills to backgrounds and making sure those members of the teamwork in tandem to guarantee that goal of the project is achieved (Walkowska, 2019). The project management teams’ success highly depends on the team leader’s ability to manage and influence a diverse mix of individuals effectively. Due to the multidisciplinary, mixed, and interdependent classification of project teams, project team leaders are obliged to learn team-building skills to be able to integrate the efforts of the project team. This skill is important as it helps the manager to understand the dynamics and the undertakings of team development. As a team manager, I will be tasked with the responsibility to create an environment that develops personal and professional satisfaction and trust amongst my team members. Also, it is acceptable to note that good working relationships among members can positively affect productivity and team performance with other stakeholders. Back in university, I was involved in various voluntary groups that involved community development projects and services. I was appointed a team leader of a group that was tasked with cleaning a certain area of the society for a month and worked only on weekends. One of the characteristics of my selection was that I was very strict when it came to the management of time, and frankly, during that one month, it proved very crucial. Therefore, I learned that as a project manager, it would be very essential to endorse great time management (Wilson, 2020). That will include incorporating timelines to the team members’ roles and aligning them to weekly and monthly goals. Timelines will ensure that members of the team stick to their defined schedules and also be able to track individual performances and activities with the project’s objectives and goals. In a nutshell, I find team management in projects very necessary to be able to accomplish the goals and objects in record time. While out of work, I still to play for a local team, our coach uses a format where everyone gets at least two weeks to lead the team in training sessions and even a few games. During my time, I take up the role of motivating players that don’t feel motivated, or part of the team looks down on them, which affects their game time. I pair myself with them to play against others, and whenever they do something great or even course turnovers, it is part of my job to motivate and encourage them to play on. Even after practice, I take upon the team to acknowledge them, which gives them the psyche to come tomorrow. At the end of the day, players feel happy, appreciated, and even look forward to the following day’s training. As players, we get some allowances given to us after games that include training allowances. However, that doesn’t go a long way to motivate and make them improve. It is good to note that every human being has needs, desires, and incentives, which play a very big part in motivating them. It is for these reasons that as a team leader, I noted that monetary ways of recognition still needs to be followed by genuine acknowledgment and recognition (Son, 2015). Based on a global recognition study conducted by Socialcast, it was noted that at least 85% of American workers reported that they would put in more effort at their workplaces knowing that their efforts were better recognized, which basically means a little verbal pat on their shoulders congratulating them.  Also, as a future team leader, it would be my responsibility to recognize and tangibly award my team members for their efforts towards achieving the objectives of the project to boost their work ethics. Therefore, managing teams in projects is a big deal as it provides a chance to be able to uplift others and help them grow. The larger part of team management includes supervising persons with diverse interests, personalities, and beliefs. Conflicts ranging from personal to professional are bound to arise whenever people from various backgrounds are brought together. Therefore managing project teams is very important to me as it gives me a chance to be effective in conflict management. As a project manager, I will be required to have the ability to manage issues and also counterbalance differing opinions that may course rise to disagreements. Moreover, if the conflicts are tactfully managed via a proper set of tools and prowess, then the possibilities of the situation aggravating are significantly lowered. While working for my previous employer, I was tasked with leading the team in ensuring that the IT system was fully implemented and functioning. There arose issues of different kinds, and as a project manager handling the conflicts, it was salient that I become sensitive to my body language and attitude, be keen in identifying the points where the persons agreed and disagreed, took into account the different viewpoints as I tried to put myself into the parties’ shoes and lastly act as mediator. I want to conclude by acknowledging that managing project teams play a huge role to me as it gives me the duty to create an environment that will support positive feedback. Support offered will be work both ways, which means, if duties are being done successfully, I will not delay in publicly appreciating the members publicly. In any case, if we encounter limitations, then members of the team ought to be ready for positive criticism from my position. On the other, support for feedback gives freedom to members when it comes to sharing feedback openly with regards to work. Feedback is very crucial because it goes a long way to act as a studying tool for the project teams in developing both personally and professionally.

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