Topic 2 Project team management

The project team comprises the people who are assigned to work on the project. The team members can work for the organisation leading the project, be external contractors or -in the case of collaborative projects- be staff members of the cooperating parties. The project team’s composition can vary depending on the skills that the project demands. However, since projects require diverse aptitudes and abilities (e.g. logistics, financial administration, marketing, production, leadership, etc.), a project team should include individuals of various skills who complement each other.

Selecting the project team’s members is a predominant – but no easy- task. The choice of individuals should depend on their potential contribution to the project, but reality often poses pecuniary or tactical obstacles. Particularly in the cultural sector one must often work with a given team, who may be enthusiastic but who may not always have sufficient know-how. Life-long learning through seminars, online courses or on-the-job training help people working in the cultural sector to upgrade their skills, knowledge and aptitudes.

There are seven important tools and techniques for building a strong, cohesive project team:

1.Develop interpersonal and team skills, or soft skills (conflict resolution, influence, team building, motivation, and negotiation)

2.Organise training (formal or informal training, like online training, classroom, mentoring, or on-the-job training, is a recognised motivational factor that also improves the team’s competencies)

3.Co-locate team members (e.g. use a “war room” where all project files, printouts, meetings, etc. are held)

4.Encourage virtual teams (advantageous for getting resources that might not be available in your location and it also saves on travel and costs)

5.Offer recognition and rewards (this is particularly critical for hard-working and efficient team members)

6.Have individual and team assessments

7.Hold regular meetings

The project manager (PM) is responsible for a variety of tasks throughout the life of the project and even after its closure. She or he is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the project. Accordingly, the PM plans, executes and monitors the project, leads the team, manages stakeholders, project communications, risks and arising issues. The PM supervises the project on a day-to-day basis and is responsible for ensuring high-quality results that meet the identified objectives and constraints and ensuring the efficient use of the allocated resources.

Each member of the project team is assigned a specific role, according to their special skills and capabilities, such as:

  • manage the budget – financial control
  • manage communications – marketing
  • manage external relations – communications/PR/personal relations
  • produce deliverables – production
  • other required tasks, as per the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a process of the Project Scope phase (Step 4). It breaks down the total work needed for the project into work packages containing specific objectives, outputs and activities, which are then assigned to the most suitable team members to be carried out within the set deadlines and budget limits. There are two types of WBS: Deliverable-based and Phase-based, depending on what makes the project more manageable.

For a proper project management it is definitely  important to know which tasks are required, how they interrelate and how they can be decomposed, as well as which are the time and resources constraints. To this extent, WBS supports the creation of budgets and schedules. Insightful knowledge of the team members also allows the efficient delegation of the work packages, which may lead to the accomplishment of the project’s objectives and keep team members motivated.

There are 3 to 4 levels in WBS, depending on the project’s complexity:

1.Project’s Goal

2.Project’s Objectives

3.Project Outputs