Last modified on 9 November 2013, at 15:55

Development Cooperation Handbook/Guidelines/How to manage motivated and effective teams

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How to manage motivated and effective teams


Effective managers take groups of people and turn them into real teams, and turn the members into team players.

To do so they help team members:

  1. Build a trusting relationships with the other members
  2. Understand the need for communicating and discussing ideas and plans
  3. Appreciate the diversity and importance of all individuals and their unique skills
  4. Clarify what roles each member will fulfill
  5. Feel comfortable contributing their own ideas and insights
  6. Feel comfortable listening and being open to others’ ideas and insights
  7. Develop pride in being part of their team.

Effective managers use whatever is available to help turn strangers into teams.


To maximize the successful performance of the Project Team, the Project Manager must do the following:

  • Ensure that the team has adequate knowledge. Even if there is no formal Team Training Plan the PM should should evaluate the skills of each team member and determine whether he/she met the current and future needs of the project and raise the capacity of the human resources of the organization to manage successfully their task and contribute to the generation of a healthy communication climate within the organization and with external stakeholders. (thereby fulfilling the basic requirement for an employee empowering organization). If new team members have joined the project since the Training Plan was established, the Project Manager must evaluate the skill level of the new members to determine if additional training is needed. In all cases, training tasks must be added to or removed from both the Training Plan and the Project Schedule, since they will affect the end date of the project. Identify the need and the scope to raise the capacity of the human resources of the organization to manage successfully their task and contribute to the generation of a healthy communication climate within the organization and with external stakeholders. (see Learning and Feedback)
  • Establish a Positive Team Environment and a Healthy Communication Climate. Project Team members must learn to work together to achieve project goals. They must recognize that there is more to teamwork than simply having team members feel good about each other. High-performing Project Teams are disciplined. Team members participate in all required meetings, are willing to suppress their egos for the good of the group, take their assigned tasks seriously, and continuously strive to improve their skills. High-performing Project Teams are either empowered to make decisions or are included in decision-making processes. This is the essence of project ownership. Project Managers must develop sufficient management competencies to be able to create an environment that encourages team members to excel. (See also motivate the project team; communication climate). While there are many process functions in teams, three stand out as particularly important – maximizing participation, managing influence styles, and handling conflict. All three of these require a core skill --- listening. Listening includes giving your undivided attention to others as they speak and not thinking about what you will say when it is your turn to talk. It is also taking the time to check that you agree that what they said is what you heard. Paraphrasing their comments, asking clarifying questions, and giving individuals credit for the contributions verbally in the group all demonstrate effective listening skill. (See Building a Climate of Trust; Encouraging Openness; Team Conflict Management; Decision Making in Groups.)
  • Work Properly and Ensure Accountability A basic responsibility of the Project Manager is to assign work to the Project Team and ensure that the work is completed according to the Project Schedule. The Project Manager (or Team Leaders if the project is large) is responsible for allocating tasks to appropriate team members at the appropriate times. A good Project Manager establishes and maintains a Project Schedule that minimizes team member down time. Along with the Team Leaders, the Project Manager must continuously communicate to each member of the team what is required and by when, and then manage the performance of each team member in meeting the requirements. Since the Project Manager is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a project, he/she must direct Project Team endeavors and encourage team members to be accountable for their work. Accountability should be formally documented and measured through the use of team member Progress Reports. (See Figure 4-4, the New York State Progress Report.) But the Project Manager must also be willing to communicate face-toface with the Project Team. Regular personal communication is one of the most effective ways to gather input on the status of project activities, discuss issues and concerns, recognize good work, encourage and provide support to team members who are struggling, and build relationships. It is also one of the primary ways to discover and take action to resolve team member. (see performance issues. (see Middle Management Capabilities, Empowerment and Accountability)



Other ToolsEdit

Swiss sknife.png Key Questions for Establishing the Team Organization
Swiss sknife.png How to reach an agreement on the Employee Performance Objectives
Swiss sknife.png How to recognize if Team Building is successful
Swiss sknife.png How to check the level of togetherness in a team
Swiss sknife.png Why do organisations need to plan and manage their communication?
Swiss sknife.png How team members can improve overall project communication
Swiss sknife.png Measures to make teams more performing
Swiss sknife.png Required characteristics of the project manager
Swiss sknife.png The 10 Project Management Guiding Principles

See alsoEdit

In other sections of this handbook
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg The employee empowering organization
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Manage the Performance of Project Team Members
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Team Conflict Management
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Decision Making in Groups
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Leading and Managing

Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Human resources management
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Team Conflict Management
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Decision Making in Groups