Chapter 3 – Project Manager as a Leader

3.4. Project Manager Managing the Team

In order to successfully meet the needs of a project, it is important to have a high-performing project team made up of individuals who are both technically skilled and motivated to contribute to the project’s outcome. One of the many responsibilities of a project manager is to enhance the ability of each project team member to contribute to the project, while also fostering individual growth and accomplishment. At the same time, each individual must be encouraged to share ideas and work with others toward a common goal.

HR in Focus: Human Resources and Performance Evaluation

Through performance evaluation, the manager will get the information needed to ensure that the team has adequate knowledge, to establish a positive team environment and a healthy communication climate, to work properly, and to ensure accountability. HR Specialists would be involved in creating performance evaluation programs and tools for evaluation of the team and the Project Manager. They would establish evaluation forms, guidelines for evaluation specific to the project, standard performance measures, and feedback. Managing the project team includes appraisal of employee performance and project performance involving HR Specialists as advisors. The performance reports provide the basis for managerial decisions on how to manage the project team and Human Resources. HR would be involved in helping to motivate the team to do their best, ensure the evaluation was completed fairly, objectively and consistently.

During or after the completion of the project, HR would be in a position to reward performance based on merit, provide opportunities for advancement to team members when available, and provide evaluations to other functional managers within the organization.

Employee performance includes the employee’s work results such as:

  • Quality and quantity of outputs
  • Work behaviour (such as punctuality)
  • Job-related attributes (such as cooperation and initiative)

After conducting employee performance reviews, project managers should:

  • Provide feedback to employees about how well they have performed on established goals
  • Provide feedback to employees about areas in which they are weak or could do better
  • Take corrective action to address problems with employees performing at or below minimum expectations
  • Reward superior performers to encourage their continued excellence

Working with Groups and Teams

A team is a collaboration of people with different personalities that is led by a person with a favoured leadership style. Managing the interactions of these personalities and styles as a group is an important aspect of project management.

Teams can outperform individual team members in several situations. The effort and time invested in developing a team and the work of the team are large investments of project resources, and the payback is critical to project success. Determining when a team is needed, and then supporting the development and work of the team are critical project management abilities.

Teams are effective in several project situations:

  • When no individual with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand or solve the problem exists.
  • When a commitment to the solution is needed by large portions of the project team.
  • When the problem and solution span project functions.
  • When innovation is required.
  • When speed is important.
  • When the activities involved in solving the problem are very detailed.

In addition to knowing when a team is appropriate, the project manager must also understand what type of team will function best. Sometimes, individuals can outperform teams. An individual tackling a problem consumes fewer resources than a team and can operate more efficiently—as long as the solution meets the project’s needs.

An individual is most appropriate in the following situations:

  • When one person has the knowledge, skills, and resources to solve the problem.
  • When the actual document needs to be written (Teams can provide input, but writing is a solitary task.)

Personality Types and Tests

Personality types refer to the differences among people, including in such matters as what motivates them, how they process information, and how they handle conflict. Understanding people’s personality types is acknowledged as an asset in interacting and communicating with them more effectively. Understanding your personality type as a project manager will assist you in evaluating your tendencies and strengths in different situations. Understanding others’ personality types can also help you coordinate the skills of your individual team members and address the various needs of your client. The key methodologies that Human Resources may be involved in either training/teaching or using to hire, train or develop are Emotional Intelligence, Myers-Briggs, DISC Method and The Big Five that will be review on the following pages.  Both introductory review and in-depth studies are included. More In-depth discussions are included in: 3.7 Emotional Intelligence, 3.8 Myers-Briggs, 3.9 DISC Method.