top of page

Establish Project Team(s)

Your project team can be your biggest asset, or it can be your biggest risk.

What Kind of Team Do you Need?

Define the teams. At a minimum you'll have a core team, with the members that will be actively involved throughout the entire project. Many projects, also require extended teams, that work on specific portions of the project. Take the time to get to know every team member, and develop effective relationships. The more significant the project the more administration will be required and the more you'll want to establish the administration prior to the launch

It's important to have the project's sponsor and core team actively participate in the launch. Research confirms that projects with active sponsors are always more successful than projects without sponsors.

Project Team(s) Questions to Consider:
  •  How many and what kind of teams will be required?

  • Who’s the project sponsor and what’s the sponsor’s involvement in the project?

  • Who are key project stakeholders and what’s their involvement in the project?

  • Who’s the project manager and team leader for each team or sub-team?

  • What departments need to be represented on the project core team?

  • Who are the core team members and what are their roles and responsibilities?

  • What skills are required on the project core team?

  • How often and when will project team meetings be held?

  • Who will be required to participate in project team meetings?

  • How will project team decisions be made?

  • How will project team meetings be managed?

  • What’s the escalation process?

  • How will project team performance issues be handled?

  • Who will record and track the schedule, action items and issues?

  • Who will record assumptions?

  • What automated tools will be used?

  • Do team members need any training?


Establish Team Operating Procedures to Reduce Conflict
  • Define roles and responsibilities

  • Establish expectations

  • Define meeting schedules

  • Describe the meeting process

  • Define how the project will be planned and managed

  • Identify automated and manual tools

  • Establish decision making and escalation process

  • Value individual feedback

  • Define performance management

  • Define documentation requirements, process, and responsibilities

  • Identify team training and development requirements

Project Sponsors

Sponsors will generally be Senior Managers who have ultimate responsibility for the successful completion of Business Initiatives and projects.

Sponsor Responsibilities:

  • Gives direction to the project

  • Obtains necessary resources including commitment of people and hours across the organization

  • Secures management agreements

  • Provides regular reports to the management team

  • Is committed to ensuring results are achieved

  • Provides assistance / guidance to project manager

  • Provides political support

  • The sponsor will usually be involved in launching the project.

  • Best practice is that all projects have a sponsor

  • The sponsor helps set the project’s direction, goals, and objectives

Team Member 
  • Understand, help develop, and support project direction, business results, and goals

  • Participate in planning, as needed

  • Accountable for completing tasks

  • Support each other and the project manager

  • Participate in problem resolution

  • Report status, uncover issues, and communicate

  • Keep your direct supervisor/ manager informed of your work and time commitments

  • Participate in all reviews and audits.

Project Managers

Project Manager Responsibilities:

  • Define project goals, objectives, and requirements (with sponsor)

  • Build consensus and facilitates conflict resolution

  • Define the project scope, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and Network Diagram (if required). Set priorities and makes recommendations

  • Forms and leads the project team and publishes all plans

  • Ensures completion of all deliverables

  • Minimize surprises

  • Recognizes and rewards individual and team accomplishments and successes

  • Provides direct communication with  sponsor

  • Monitors delivery against all plans and commitments

  • Coordinates, supports, and provides leadership for the project team

  • Identifies and mitigates risk

  • Controls changes

  • Focal point for issues, questions, and enhancements

  • Chairs project team meetings

  • Facilitates problem resolution 

  • Involved in all project communication

  • Maintains focus on behavior change required to produce the committed results

  • Manages the schedule and daily activity

Project Managers Get Things done. The Difference Between Effective and Less Effective Managers is whether the most important things get done.
Every Project Requires a Project Manager Who Can...
  • Take the lead position in the project

  • Facilitates the project and team process

  • Collaborates with the team to create and execute the project plan and workflow

  • Monitors and documents the progress of all project work

  • Reports to the sponsor on project progress

  • Facilitates and develops reporting updates to the cross-functional project management steering committee, if used

  • The larger, the more complex, the more critical the project the more the project manager needs to be a planner, manager, negotiator, facilitator, and communicator and not a doer.

  • Project managers get things done. The difference between effective and less effective project managers is whether the most important things get done.  

  • While it would be great for all the identified work within a project to be completed on time, on budget, and per specifications; sometimes that’s just not feasible.  For that reason it’s important to identify and ensure that the most important or critical work is completed producing the most important or critical deliverables and therefore the most critical results.

Team Meeting
​​Project Managers Ensure Predictable Results by Balancing
Leadership and Management

Develop effective habits

Ask probing open ended questions

Influence required behavior change

When Selecting
a Project Manager:
  • Understand the involvement in previous projects

  • What's the background in project management methods and tools.

  • What's the time required for this project and time availability to meet the requirements.

  • Understand and able to work with team member styles.

bottom of page