What to Look for in Project Team Members

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Without a solid, reliable team to help you on the way, there’s no hope for a successful project. All the planning and preparation skills in the world won’t save you if you don’t have the right people backing you up. Therefore, choosing your team members is one of the most important tasks ahead of you. If you’re building a team from scratch (something that most PMs have to do with each new project), there are some specific things that you’ll need to know before you begin. Here’s a quick look.
1. Specific Skills Set
Obviously, you need a team built out of skilled professionals. The exact skills will vary from one project to another, though, so bear that in mind. Each team member should bring something specific to the project, and they should be extremely skilled in whatever that specific area is. You want the best of the best if you are to stand a chance of succeeding here. However, understand that many department managers will be unwilling to part with their most valuable staff, so be prepared to cajole and haggle with them to get the people you need.
2. Team Players
Individuality is important. However, in project management, you need people with a strong sense of teamwork. Individuality needs to take a back seat here. Your team members should be dedicated to the project before anything else, and those who aren’t particularly worried about working together properly will certainly throw a wrench in the works. This can be a hard quality to ascertain – ask around about each potential team member and find out how they handle themselves in their regular positions. Their department manager will probably be the best source of information, but do not neglect their coworkers.
3. Dedicated to Communication
Communication – it’s the most important component of a fully functional project team. Make sure that the team members you choose are not only willing to communicate on a constant basis, but go to great lengths to ensure that they are able to. A missed conversation because someone got busy and forgot about it is enough to derail your project, so make sure that those you bring aboard are capable of communicating immediately when something arises that needs to be brought to your attention, or the attention of a stakeholder.
4. Ability to Collaborate
Collaboration falls under the heading of working as a team, but there’s more to it. You must ensure that your team members are not only willing to collaborate, but have the skills to do so. Collaboration in a team environment is very different from working with coworkers in a department. The success of your team depends on their ability to collaborate, communicate and complement each other’s efforts. If you bring aboard a person who cannot or will not collaborate, you face an uphill battle.
With these tips, you should be able to build a team that’s capable of ensuring a successful project without any problem.


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