Unfortunately teams don't just happen. In practice many teams never achieve the synergy essential for teamwork to become multiplicative - creating something more than the sum of the parts. In fact some teams can become subtractive - the teams producing results less valuable than its members would have achieved if they worked separately.Yet rarely do we come across project plans and resources that account for the need to have an effective team in place and even rarer a business and sponsor that supports and encourages the Project Leader to build one.
Instead the requirement is often to" just get on with it" - to demanding deadlines. This frequently backfires, with Project Leaders and teams feeling compelled to immediately dive into the detail of the task, before they have clarified their goals, and with no attention paid to whether the team is capable and committed enough to work together.
Result, the rich resources of a team are diluted into one task focused leader and disengaged under utilised Team Members watching on the sideline.
This chapter is focused upon the vital but often neglected part of project management, that of converting the people working on the project into a team. It introduces the high performing team, what it means to belong to and lead one and then using extracts from our work provides some practical tips on how this challenge can start to be met.