Most managers have to put together a project team at some point. Or maybe you have to do it regularly.
Either way, assembling your team is extremely important, because projects can easily get off track and come in late, or poorly done — or not at all — if the people aren’t right.
Project management expert Pawel Brodzinski, who blogs at brodzinski.com, says managers would be well advised to watch out for these three common pitfalls when putting a team together:
- Choosing only the most experienced people. Certainly you want some highly experienced folks on the team. But just as little children can sometimes ask the most incisive questions out of sheer naivete, relatively inexperienced employees may be able to look at the project in a new and useful light.
- Looking only for characters you like. Obviously you need to be able to get along to some degree with team members, and if there happens to be someone in your department with whom you’re at daggers drawn, you may have to leave them off. But you don’t have to love someone to death in order to benefit from their skills. Don’t limit your team to people you’d like to have a beer or go bowling with, or you could end up a lot of people who think the same way and won’t challenge one another, creating dangerous blind spots.
- Making sure you’re the most valuable member. If you’re the most skilled member of the team, you may have chosen the wrong people. Ideally, at least one team member should be better at the task(s) required by the project than you are. Your aim isn’t to dominate the project, but rather to assemble the best possible resources to apply to it.
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