Effective Team Management Techniques for Project Managers.

Janindu Ranawake

February 28, 2023


4 Mins

Transitioning from a team member to a project manager can be a significant shift, from simply following instructions, you are suddenly responsible for providing instructions to an entire team. But, it's also an opportunity for growth and development. As a project manager, you'll need to be able to think strategically, plan effectively, and communicate clearly with your team. It's important to establish a clear vision for the project and set achievable goals, while also being flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.

Tactical team building

Tactical team building is a critical aspect of successful project management. Almost half of good project management can be achieved by building a strong team from the outset. To begin with, project managers should recruit team members carefully, evaluating their skills and experience to ensure they are well-suited for the role. This maximises resources and ensures that team members are confident in their ability to contribute to the project. Belbin’s Team Roles is a useful model for understanding the various roles and personalities needed for team success. By implementing this model, project managers can proactively manage their team, optimise their resources, and achieve better outcomes.

Effective time management

Effective team management involves endorsing good time management practices. By assigning concrete timelines and weekly goals to each team member, they can track their own progress and the project's lifecycle. Utilise project management software to help manage individual timelines, set due dates and track progress. Additionally, aligning the project's overall objective with the team's objectives ensures that each team member understands how their individual tasks relate to the bigger picture. This prevents team members from working in opposite directions and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Communicate and bond

To be a great project manager, you must exhibit three types of leadership styles: directive, supportive, and participative. Participative leadership involves empowering your team, encouraging involvement, and allowing decision-making to be a team effort. Supportive leadership involves showing care and interest in your team's strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and interests. Directive leadership involves being approachable and setting up a feedback system to hear your team's opinions and suggestions. This helps to foster a cordial bond between team members and their leader, promoting collaboration and motivation.

Rewards and recognise

It's important to consider what motivates your team when managing them. Everyone has needs, desires, and incentives that drive their work, and your team members are no exception. Recognizing and acknowledging their hard work is crucial to keeping them motivated. A study(https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-employee-appreciation-infographic) found that 78% of polled workers report that recognition motivates them at their job. To cultivate motivation in your team, you need to address their needs first. The ERG theory is a useful tool to understand employees’ motives and how to induce motivation in them. However, verbal recognition alone is not enough. Tangible rewards, such as additional bonuses or financial incentives, can boost your team’s work ethic and keep them motivated in the long term.

Foster teamwork

To ensure that your team functions efficiently even when you're not around, you need to create a positive and collaborative workplace culture. You can enable your team to communicate and collaborate effectively by endorsing tools like Slack. For effective project management, employ a project management tool that allows your team to track and manage changes, conduct meetings, and share timesheets from anywhere in the world. Remember that effective team management is a constant effort to improvise, adapt, and modify strategies as your team grows and changes.

Manage conflict

Managing a team means managing a group of individuals with diverse interests, personalities, and beliefs. When people from different backgrounds come together, it can occasionally lead to conflicts. Effective team management includes the ability to handle conflicts and neutralise differing views that may lead to disagreements. With the right set of tools and expertise, further aggravation of the situation can be avoided.

Project managers can handle conflicts in several ways. Firstly, they should take everyone’s perspective and try to see the conflict from each person’s point of view. This helps to develop an understanding of the situation and find an effective solution.

Secondly, they should identify points of agreement and disagreement between the individuals. This helps the project manager to develop common ground for a mutual agreement.

Thirdly, project managers should be mindful of their own body language and attitude. They should avoid personal biases and not be unreasonable on personal grounds.

Finally, project managers should act as a mediator, staying neutral and not taking sides. They should provide guidance to everyone involved to help resolve the conflict in a positive way. Effective conflict resolution is essential to maintain team harmony and achieve the project's objectives.

Delegate responsibility and develop your team

As a project manager, it's important to assign tasks to team members based on their skills and expertise. While it's okay for employees to try new things, their core duties should align with their strengths.

Delegating tasks based on individual strengths can boost productivity and output. Consider appointing team leaders who can connect with team members on a personal level to better understand their strengths.

Professional development is also crucial for effective team management. Team members should feel that their skills are being developed rather than exploited. Regular training sessions can help team members grow and contribute to organisational objectives.

Promote feedback

Feedback is crucial in any work environment, and as a project manager, you should create a culture where feedback is encouraged. Give public recognition for successful tasks and provide constructive criticism for shortcomings. Also, allow your employees to share their feedback with you so you can plan and act accordingly. Regularly check in with your team members, even when there is no feedback to give or take. This can act as a valuable resource for gathering information and a learning tool for professional and personal development. In non-hierarchical organisations, taking regular feedback can be challenging, but it's necessary for effective team management.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, effective team management techniques are essential for any project manager to lead a team successfully. Delegating tasks according to individual strengths, handling conflicts tactfully, nurturing a culture of feedback, and ensuring the team functions efficiently in the absence of the manager are some of the key techniques that a project manager should master. It's important to maintain a positive and collaborative workplace culture to achieve the goals of the organisation. Project managers should continuously adapt and modify their strategies to meet the needs of their teams. By following these techniques, project managers can improve productivity, maintain healthy working relationships, and achieve overall success.

Janindu Ranawake

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