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  • Writer's pictureRachael Milne

Art & Science of Project Resourcing: Cultivating a High Performing Team

Updated: Sep 17, 2023


Body Shop founder Anita Roddick once said, when she created The Body Shop, she wanted staff, but got people.


In the fast-paced world of project management, the relentless hunt for top talent continues as companies strive to build high-performing teams. In my previous blog, we explored the importance of project managers personally reaching out to potential team members through LinkedIn to build credible networks and foster authentic connections. Now, let's delve into the art and science of project resourcing once the dream team is assembled.


Embracing Agile Methodology and Servant-Leadership:

In the dynamic landscape of project management, Agile methodology has revolutionized traditional approaches. Project managers now adopt a servant-leadership role, empowering their teams to explore new ideas, facilitating and removing road blocks. This approach fosters an environment of empowerment and motivation, where team members are driven to give their best for the project's success. Identifying opportunities for cross-skilling and upskilling within the team further motivates individuals and contributes to their professional development.


"Project managers now adopt a servant-leadership role, empowering their teams to explore new ideas and facilitating and removing road blocks."


Creating a Project Team Charter:

A crucial step in establishing a high-performing team is to conduct a meeting where the team collaboratively writes their own Project Team Charter. This charter outlines team values, conflict resolution processes, meeting guidelines, standards, and processes, while also setting clear expectations for team members. To ensure the charter remains impactful, display it visually in co-located spaces or include it as a regular slide in team meetings. Continuously refer to the charter to ensure it remains an integral part of the team's collective mindset.


Navigating the Tuckman Model and Facilitating Team Dynamics:

Team dynamics go through various stages, as identified by the Tuckman model. From forming, storming, norming, performing to adjourning, the team evolves, grows, and adjusts to each other's working styles and responsibilities. Project managers must anticipate and support team members through these stages, especially when there are new additions or changes within the team, being aware of potential productivity dips is essntional for maintaining a high-functioning team.


"Team dynamics go through various stages, as identified by the Tuckman Model...being aware of potential dips in productivity during these transitions is essential "


Reward and Recognition: Key to Team Motivation:

As the driving force behind the team, project managers play a pivotal role in rewarding and recognising team members' efforts. While financial rewards may not always be feasible, acknowledging accomplishments and giving back time can be equally valuable. Celebrating key milestones, expressing gratitude, and allowing team members to finish early on certain occasions can boost team morale and foster a positive work environment. Additionally, providing positive feedback to functional managers for team members on loan from other departments reinforces their value and contribution.


"Celebrating key milestones, expressing gratitude, and allowing team members to finish early on certain occasions can boost team morale and foster a positive work environment."


Prioritising 1:2:1 Meetings and Supporting Remote Workers:

For both co-located and dispersed project teams, project managers should prioritise regular 1:2:1 meetings with individual team members. Consistency in scheduling these meetings and not rescheduling them for seemingly more urgent matters is vital. Particularly for remote workers who lack the casual social interactions of co-located colleagues, these meetings are essential for maintaining motivation and mitigating feelings of disconnection. Engaging remote team members and keeping them aligned with the project's objectives will prevent attrition and ensure long-term commitment.


"...project managers should prioritise regular 1:2:1 meetings with individual team members... these meetings are essential for maintaining motivation and mitigating feelings of disconnection."


Conclusion:

In the art and science of project resourcing, cultivating a high-performing team requires a multifaceted approach. By embracing servant-leadership, Agile methodologies, and fostering team dynamics, project managers can create an environment that encourages excellence and collaboration. Rewarding and recognising team efforts, maintaining open communication, and supporting remote workers further contribute to a cohesive and motivated team. Embrace these principles, and watch your project soar to new heights of success with the collective power of your high-performing team.





Rachael is a guest speaker at the PMI Summit Lisbon 2023 under the title of Art & Science of Project Resourcing. Rachael is a freelance project management consultant and trainer in PMP and Scrum Master. To see how Rachael can help you with your project or training requirements, please contact her here.



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