Executing with the Right Team

February 28, 2017 by FlexPro

Last month, Lynn spoke of the second phase of the five Project Management Process Groups – Planning.  We learned that planning is probably one of the most important process groups in that it builds the foundation for all later phases of the project. In the planning group we establish timelines, costs, staffing needs, external suppliers and risk. This can often be challenging as we determine and outline the project objectives. Here is where we tie all of the pieces together in order to move onto the next group of the project – Execution.

As defined in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition , “The Executing Process Group consists of those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications.”  Basically, this is when we take our plan and bring it to fruition. There are many components of the Execution process group  including:

  • Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
  • Manage Communications
  • Conduct Procurements
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement

This is also the time where we set-up our team in order to meet the projects goals. I’m going to focus on the team aspect here with acquiring, developing  and managing the project team. Brighthubpm.com defines these three parts as:

  • Acquire Project Team: Typical outputs include assigning staff and creating resource calendars. Negotiations and Acquisitions are part of this process.
  • Develop Project Team: Typical outputs include conducting performance assessments. All development related activities, such as training and team-building, are performed in this process.
  • Manage Project Team: Typical outputs include updates to the project management plan and other project documents. Project performance appraisals and conflict resolutionare part of this process.

It is in going through the “acquire project team” process where you want to thoroughly and clearly communicate project expectations and timelines. There should be no question that your team leaders know exactly how their roles fit into the larger goals. This leads to the second aspect , “develop project team”.  It’s critical to the overall success of the team that they receive the tools and information

necessary to perform their duties. In addition, we all know how quickly the scope of a project can change so it’s important to make sure that your team is provided timely updates and additional training when needed. The final aspect is “manage project team”, and this is where the project manager syncs with the team and ties all components together. While there may be many different areas team members are responsible for, the PM must bind all areas together into a cohesive unit. This includes making necessary adjustments to the plan and dealing with the daily challenges.  As a PM, it is your job to communicate with your team, which is one of the most important aspects of project management.

Past newsletters have discussed this, but it’s worth repeating. We are the mentor, the coach and the leader of our group and ultimately accountable for the final goals of the project being met. We are accountability partners for our team members and we are all rallying around the same objective. Our role is to make sure the goals are clear, to measure the progress against those goals, and to keep everyone motivated and on task. In turn I hope that each team member is also part of the accountability chain, helping to motivate and encourage the other members, especially when things start to go off plan. Fostering a supportive environment where team members feel empowered to be accountability partners is a sure way of overcoming any obstacles and challenges that may arise.

Executing the project is an exciting and challenging time and the part of the process where all of the pieces of the planning puzzle start to fit together. Keeping your team engaged and motivated is a sure way to achieve success!

-Rose Cook, FlexPro CEO

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