5 Tips for Building a Successful Project Team

TSP • @myTSPnet


Taking on a new project may sound intimidating in a time as turbulent as the present, but a strong team is the crucial ingredient to ensuring project success. The key to producing outstanding project results is strong leadership combined with a cohesive team with determination to meet and exceed goals.

Successful project teams don't form overnight. Creating and maintaining a project team takes time, research and strong communication. Teams must develop and progress gradually to ensure quality performance. Through careful planning, matching, communication, collaboration and motivation, your team will drive project success.

Before selecting your team, establish goals for the project itself and determine what kind of team will drive success. Certain projects require different styles of teams and varying types of team members. After the mission and goal of the project, establish the deadline, time frame, scope of work and needed skills. This will give you a better idea of the type of candidates to look for in the interview and selection process.

Project planning will ensure a smooth start to the entire process. This extra work in the beginning will allow everyone to be aligned on the mission and goals once the project begins. The team should know what they’re working towards, understand the value of the project and have a vision for how they’ll contribute to the final result. With a clear vision of the goal from the beginning, a team will be more motivated and ultimately work with the intention of meeting and exceeding it.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula. Successful projects are the result of strong teams and intentional planning. One way to be intentional when forming a project team is to take the time to match candidates based on backgrounds, abilities and personalities. Doing so ensures a more cohesive and complementary team.

Though many candidates may be qualified, a team must be composed of members with diverse qualities that complement each other well. You don’t want a team full of people with the exact same skill set or personality, but rather that of complementary capabilities and personas.

Set clear expectations for interpersonal communication as soon as the team is formed. This will allow the team to create a habit of strong communication from the beginning. Technology allows project teams to maintain communication at all times, even from a distance. Your team will increase its chance of being successful if you implement strategies for keeping everyone informed on all aspects of the project. The team should be interconnected and aware of all progress, changes and information. You can never over-communicate when it comes to operating a successful project team.

Open communication within a group and team collaboration will drive your team to success. Everyone should know their personal goals as well as the objectives of the rest of the team members. In order to encourage collaboration, schedule regular team meetings and check-ins to discuss any challenges, ideas and project progress. When teams are able to openly discuss issues, everyone can support each other, provide assistance and troubleshoot as needed. Though team meetings are most effective when held in-person, videoconferencing works well when face-to-face meetings are not always possible.

Collaboration also allows the team members to operate together as a unit and not as individual pieces. Operating as a unit will drive the team to achieving a common goal that was established in the beginning of the project process. This allows the team to carry the weight of the project together rather than one member trying to carry the project. Encourage an environment of cooperation, not competition.

A regular team check-in not only helps with collaboration, but it also boosts team morale. When morale is boosted, teams are likely to work even harder and with more excitement. The end-goal of a major project can seem daunting and out-of-reach. Set smaller milestone accomplishments along the way in order to create a more motivating process for the project team. Celebrating small successes gives the team recognition and motivates them to push forward towards the larger picture.

Every project is different and thus every team should also be unique, leading to the need for varying tactics and strategies. Following these five steps will provide a sound launchpad for success for your team and should lead to a project in which goals are not only met but exceeded.