Building your best team takes time and consideration. Every project is unique and requires expertise in many areas to pull it all together into a successful end goal and product that will make your company and any client proud.
Make sure every seat at the project table is occupied with the best possible choice for the challenge, and keep them engaged and encouraged to perform their best. This article will explore ideas and tips for assembling a top-of-the-line team for your next project.
Effective Team Development with Project Management Software & Tools
Note that one method for helping teams come together more quickly is the use of project management tools. If effectively implemented, project management software allows a team to collaborate, communicate, and complete tasks efficiently. Compiled below is a list of just five project management tools to help your team better integrate and communicate.
Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.
Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.
Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.
monday.com Work OS is an award-winning no-code work management platform that helps teams manage projects and workflows more efficiently.
Used by 152,000+ customers worldwide, this fully customizable software lets you plan, manage, and track every project in one place. monday.com offers time-saving and easy-to-use features such as automations, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time collaboration. Multiple board views such as Gantt and Kanban help you structure and navigate tasks and projects the way you prefer, and dashboards give a high-level overview of your progress.
In addition, integrations with apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Excel, allow you to easily continue working with your favorite tools from within the platform. monday.com also offers dedicated solutions, such as monday dev and monday sales CRM, designed to answer the needs of specific industries.
Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform that has real-time work management features, collaboration and automation tools. Users are presented with a familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface. However, it has enterprise-grade capabilities that even Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, Bayer, HP, and PayPal are confident to adopt in their business. Strong project management features enable teams to utilize different views of real-time data, and switch easily from Gantt, card, grid and calendar views. Smartsheet has automatic update requests, and can be used for waterfall and agile projects, product launch, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides users the visibility who is busy, and who is not, in real-time. They can also attach files, share sheets, get notified, view the activity log, export, email, and print.
Zoho Projects is an online project management application that helps its users to plan projects, collaborate with employees and clients, keep track of time, manage documents, and generate charts and reports. Users work on a central platform where they can keep track of progress, discuss ideas, communicate easily and stay updated. It is cloud-based and highly accessible, where user data is kept safe with stringent security systems. The software is also scalable depending on the number of projects, with the option to add more features. Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management tool that helps you plan your work, track it efficiently, and collaborate with your team wherever they are.
Cerri Project is a comprehensive PPM solution integrating project portfolio management and strategic planning features to drive value for your business.
Strategic execution of project portfolios, business initiatives and objectives.
Global capacity planning and visibility.
Streamlined workflows with process-driven project management.
The Modern Team Mix
The workforce has come a long way from local on-site-only work environments. Some of the best talent comes from many different places on the planet, and there are many tools to help you locate and recruit top talent. Industry-specific recruiters and job sites are great ways to find people in any combination of the following channels:
Finding the people locally can be a great option for getting team members who are available to come on-site for meetings or work full time in an office location. That said, while these individuals are close by and can meet in person, they may not be the best person for the role.
An alternative to looking for local on-site team members is to recruit the best people locally who may be a little farther away but are willing to be on-site a few days a week. Give them work-life balance options, and they will reward you with a good attitude and not get burned out as quickly.
Full remote, anywhere
To work with the best of the best wherever they are located, your best option is to cast a wide net and be open to hiring remotely. On one hand, you’ll have a worldwide workforce to recruit from and find he most qualified and talented individuals.
You can also invigorate your team culture by finding top performers outside of your native country. This will allow you to up your team’s game by introducing new perspectives, creativity, and technical know-how from experts around the world. Hiring globally can open up a whole new range of unique ideas and input. It’s important in these cases, to ensure your team has access to resources needed to grow cross-cultural awareness as new people are brought in tp your working group.
Engaging an overseas team can allow you to save time and money for complex development and specialty services you may not have in-house. This will offer your company the ability to work around the clock, but there may be language barriers and inconsistent work spread over a large team you may not fully get to know.
The Art of Team-Building
Skillful team-building takes time and experience. Once you get your players identified and on-board for a project, what you do in the beginning will have repercussions throughout the life cycle of the project and a direct impact on each individual.
Consider these rules for orchestrating a good start and ongoing engagement of your team no matter their size or location.
Immediately after inviting and onboarding everyone to the team, be sure to properly introduce yourself and everyone to each other, so there is no question as to who is involved and what their role and responsibilities are. Increasingly, introductions incorporate not only name and position, but also the pronouns the person uses. You can do this during an internal project kick-off meeting prior to involving a client.
This introduction event should include a short introduction by everyone, sharing their name, job role, and what they will be doing as well as a bit of history as to why they are qualified to do so. They should provide contact information and the best way to be reached for the duration of the project.
Make these introductions fun and less serious by having each person share a favorite show or the latest book they are reading, or encourage them to create an avatar or interesting (internal) job title name to make the profiles on your internal collaboration and project management tools more personal.
Things a strong team leader should do
While a multi-million-dollar industry has grown up around books promising to make the reader a stringer team leader, there are three key skills the best leaders have mastered.
Build Trust: From the very first minute, begin building trust with team members through conversation and collaboration. Meet one-on-one, and get to know each person individually. Show your team that you are on their side and that they can count on your support. Encourage them to come to you with issues and concerns and to help solve problems, so they can focus on what they do best.
Foster Strong Collaboration: Set meetings that get the right people in the room (or one the Zoom) needed to find the right answers. Respect everyone’s time and encourage them to use a variety of tools to keep in touch outside of formal, planned encounters.
Encourage Independent Working Habits: No one wants to work in a silo, but everyone needs focus time to work on tasks and make progress without being micromanaged. Begin with frequent check-ins. Then, as you establish a good level of trust that the work will get done, dial back the check-in frequency.
One thing you can guarantee during a project is change. Whether it is a change in scope that requires a new work order or a change to the team mid-stream due to someone leaving or joining in late, be prepared to handle the wave when it comes. Have a plan in place for change management. The bump in the road won’t feel as big when you expect it to come and are waiting to take it on.
5 Tips for building your best team
- Clearly Define Project Team Roles: It is crucial to understand and clearly spell out what roles and responsibilities are required on the project team.
- Participate as a Leader: While you may be managing high-performing teams across disciplines, you sometimes need to roll your sleeves up and step in to help. Get to know the project inside and out, and offer to help in situations where the team may be in a bind or overwhelmed. Of course, reviewing deliverables and ensuring documentation is correct are key parts of your day to day work. But be ready to jump in and help with quality assurance (QA), proofreading documents, and checking for errors as a final set of eyes before delivery to the client.
- Conquer Conflict: Occasional conflict is a part of every project and team effort and is unavoidable. Be on the lookout for it to pop up, and have a plan of action to address conflict immediately to lessen its effects. Don’t ignore it.
- Create and Encourage a Collaborative Environment: You will be working very closely with your team for a period of time. Make sure the atmosphere is professional and promotes collaboration and transparency working together. Encourage healthy competition to encourage your best team ever.
- Celebrate Success: While everyone is hard at work every day working toward larger goals, it can be easy to overlook the smaller successes on the way to the end goal. But these steps along the way are often as important as the main goal. Bring attention to things that go well, and take the time out to celebrate and highlight success.
As a project manager, your team is your most valuable asset. Making sure you have the right team in place for every project is a time-earned skill. It’s important to remember that every team — regardless of what the team is working on — will follow the stages of team development. It is the job of the team leader to help see the team through these stages and to bring them to the point where they are working as effectively as possible toward a common goal.