Article: The art of choosing the right team members for your projects

Employee Engagement

The art of choosing the right team members for your projects

The task of a team is to accomplish targets. Therefore, identifying targets becomes the first step in putting together a team.
The art of choosing the right team members for your projects

In the words of one of the finest team-players, Michael Jordan - "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." However, this statement by Jordan misses out on a crucial fact that to get there, teams need to attract and retain the right talent. Every individual has his or her own set of skills that influence the ability of a team. The individual’s capacity to work and interact with other team members is one of the key factors that can make or break a team’s performance. 

Keeping that in mind, assembling the right team becomes critical to success. As a manager, you need the right mix of talent, skills and personality to maximize the effectiveness of your team. In the changing global business environment, you need to consider a team that represents a full range of skills mandated by the task and a collaborative zeal that the individuals require to fulfill it. Here are a few tips to get that right every time you set out to select a team for a new project.

Identify the goals

The task of a team is to accomplish targets. Therefore, identifying targets becomes the first step in putting together a team. When the goal is set, only then can you actually go ahead and define the kind of task and team specific skillsets you need from the individuals you choose. 

Match the goals with individual skillsets

Identify a pool of skills and individuals to choose from that best suit your project targets. You might want to take a closer look at individual skills at this point and assess how they fare in a team environment. Both these factors are essential for the success of a team and go a long way in making it highly effective. To drill down further into the individual’s skillset, consider the following points -

  • Communication skills: Effective communication skills are an absolute essential on the list of potential team candidates. They must have the requisite skills to communicate with a variety of audiences within and outside the team and be able to relay information both inwards and outwards.

  • Principles of project management: While no one can be expert at everything, basic knowledge of project management is essential for a strong foundation in work ethics.

  • Organized: Again, extreme dependence on organized workspace and project are not required, but good amount of healthy organization skills are a must-have for team members. It helps alleviate stress and enables individuals to tap into highly productive sides of their individual personalities.

  • Reading people: People with innate leadership qualities are the best assets for a team. They know how to read people and motivate other team members while being highly efficient themselves. They possess the ability to create and share a vision of success with all stakeholders and have the coolest demeanor even under high levels of stress

  • Accurately estimating tasks and deadlines: A project manager invariably relies on his team to provide him with estimates related to tasks and deadlines. These have to be highly accurate as a lot depends on these estimations. One wrong estimate can delay a crucial task that can throw an entire project into disarray.

  • Confident: Every potential candidate for your project team must be confident enough to remain polite-but-firm in their stand when facing opposition. They must exhibit the ability to clearly convey themselves and act in the best interest of the team in face of any delays and roadblocks.

Fine-tuning the team

Once the potential candidates have been identified, the final step is to optimize them as a team. This includes considering all attributes that would allow them to work with one another in harmonious synchronization to deliver the best results. Members who can complement and supplement each other should be grouped together to enable continuous high caliber outputs from the team.

Most individuals have the necessary skills to perform seamlessly in a team. However, it comes down onto the manager to identify those skills and hone them in a way that enables high performance from the team. To achieve this, even formal training is not a bad idea. At the organization level, it is imperative that the HR department take note of such individuals and help them gain and develop project management qualities with specialized training modules designed to help them realize their true potential. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Employee Relations

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