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both challenging and rewarding.




Figure 3-2 Responsibility matrix.


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Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

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Building a Strong Project Team
Title

A strong team is the nucleus of and can ensure the success of a project. The team members are asked to deal
with specified constraints of time and dollars, sometimes under great stress. As project manager, you need to
give them your technical guidance, your management expertise, plus a significant intangible ” your
-----------
enthusiasm and support. In this section we consider the techniques for developing a strong project team, the
importance of building a team communication plan, and your responsibility to, accountability for, and
authority over the project team.

Techniques for Team Development
We recommend that you consider using five techniques to build a solid foundation for coordinating your
project team™s work efforts.
1. Build a broad-based team. Choose the best people available to play on your team. By best, we don™t
just mean people who bring a diverse set of skills, experience, and personalities to your project; we
mean people who are known to get the job done and are team players. Familiarize yourself with their
strengths and weaknesses, both technical and emotional, by observing and listening and by asking their
boss, other project managers who have worked with them, and others with whom they have worked in
the past about their abilities. Evaluate each person™s comments, but make your own judgment. (Of
course, sometimes we are not given the choice but are told who will be assigned to our projects.)
2. Establish a formal leader. Note the adjectives before the word leader: a and formal. A means
singular. Project team members cannot divide their loyalty and responsibility among different captains.
As project manager, you must be the only person running the project. Formal means that you have been
officially delegated the job of captain with the responsibility and authority that comes with it. Make
sure that everyone on the team understands your role, who assigned you this role, why it is necessary to
have a single point of control, and how you plan to exercise your authority.
3. Build and maintain team spirit. If you become apathetic, your team will become apathetic too. You
don™t have to share negative developments with the team. If it does not affect a team member™s ability
to perform the job successfully, keep the downside to yourself. That is part of your leadership role.
Also, if you are not a rah-rah leader, don™t pretend. You can still impart a sense of professionalism and
urgency without it. However, you might want to find someone on the team to be the cheerleader for you
” the person who sets up the milestone party or the Friday beer bust. Well-timed and -deserved thanks
can go a long way.
4. Elicit management support. In many organizations, project managers are dependent upon personnel
who are not members of their staff for the performance of project tasks. Usually these team members
have been assigned by their managers or supervisors to the project for the duration of it or for the time
required to perform a specific task or group of tasks.
The assignment of these persons to the project presents you with a unique challenge: to obtain a
commitment to the project from the assigned team members, to motivate them to achieve the project
goals in a timely and cost-effective manner, and to influence them to identify with the team and its
objective. To meet this challenge, you need to be skilled in persuasion, motivational techniques,
leadership techniques, and the use of influence in the absence of line authority. Even these skills will
not ensure your success, however. The team member, for example, may be a reluctant participant in the
project, viewing it as an interruption of his or her normal duties.
One means of increasing the probability of success for the project is to convince each team member that
the project is an essential part of his or her job. This convincing must be done by the team members™
supervisor or manager, however, not by you. It is easier to convince the team member of the
importance of the assignment if the person™s supervisor agrees that you will have something to say in
the person™s performance appraisal.
5. Keep team members informed. Nothing is more frustrating to project team members than changing
the game plan without their knowledge. As project manager, you need the respect of the team. You can
build this respect in part by establishing communication channels so that you and the team members
can exchange information in a timely and accurate way.

Building a Team Communication Plan
Some team members need to be aware of the project status more frequently than others; some may need to
provide functional input on a regular basis; and some will have varying needs for information by virtue of
their role on tasks (whether prime or support). As project manager, you need to define your goals for team
communication during the early stage of the team™s formation and determine the forms of communication you
will use with each person on the team: meetings (group and/or individual), telephone calls, written status
reports, electronic mail, or some combination of these.
If you plan to use written communication, define the content, level of detail, and format for the reports. Keep
in mind that your written communication will be most effective if you report to the needs of each audience.
Work this out in advance so you™re sure that you will hit the mark.
If you plan to use meetings, devise a strategy that identifies who will attend, how often meetings will be held
and where, when they will be scheduled, and who will be responsible for agendas, minutes, and other
logistics. Your team meeting plan should be part of your project plan so that everyone involved will know
how and when meetings will take place.
Whether you plan formal or informal communication with your team, consider how often you will be in
touch. Some members will need or request more frequent communication than others. In addition to regularly
scheduled communication, you may plan meetings or reports around key project milestones or other
checkpoints. In general, the following guidelines are useful to your communication plan:
Guidelines for Developing Effective Team Communication
• Involve key members of your project team in developing a communication plan.
• Work with each team member to define how and when your communication will take place and
how you™ll work together to solve problems that might arise on the project.
• Devise a strategy with each team member to help ensure that information does not fall through a
crack and to prevent ruffled feathers that often occur when messages are miscommunicated or
omitted.
• Begin developing your communication plan as soon as you take on a new project, and update it as
needed. Players often change in the project universe. Develop new communication strategies when
this happens. Newcomers or replacement project team members are often left out in the cold and
cannot fully contribute unless you take time to involve them.



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Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

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There is one key communication skill that you as project manager need to develop and use: listening. The
Title
power of this communication tool cannot be overestimated for it leads to several important outcomes for the
project: increased productivity and quality of work, improved job satisfaction, and a clearer sense of roles and
expectations. Let™s look at the key verbal and nonverbal behaviors for active listening.
Verbal Listening Behaviors
-----------
• Ask questions to clarify or to gather information on the topic. Make your questions more than just
closed-ended ones that require only a yes or no response. Make them probing and constructive. Don™t
be too embarrassed to say, “I didn™t understand you. Would you please say that in another way so that I
can understand.”
• Paraphrase what the speaker has said. In some situations, you and the speaker come from different
parts of the organization and may be using different terminologies. If something is said to you in
unfamiliar jargon, paraphrase the information in words that are meaningful to you.
• Summarize at certain intervals what the speaker has said. Periodically confirm that you have
understood and are on the same wavelength with the speaker by restating (concisely, please) what you
have heard up to this point.
• Ask the speaker for examples. If the statement is not clear, an example or a visual impression of the
subject can help clarify the information. Asking for an analogy (some description similar to the topic at
hand) might lead to shared understanding.
• Ascertain the speaker™s feelings and acknowledge them (for example, “You sound pretty frustrated
by the whole thing”). There are times within the conversation when the speaker just needs to get
something off his or her chest. Regard this discussion as important to the speaker. If it has relevance to
your relationship with the speaker or to the project, deal with it. If the speaker™s feelings are irrelevant
to the topic or to the welfare of the project, explain that you recognize the importance of what is being
said, but the speaker should readdress the issue with a more appropriate listener.
Nonverbal Listening Behaviors
• Make eye contact with the speaker. To some people, eye contact indicates honesty,
straightforwardness, and openness. If you are unwilling to look someone straight in the eye when
talking, you are not creating the attention, connection, or personal bond that is necessary and
meaningful for good communication.
• Be expressive. An alert, interested expression motivates the speaker to be open. If you only appear to
be interested, the speaker will probably sense your lack of enthusiasm.
• Move close to the speaker. The intimacy allows you to establish a more friendly, constructive
communication. We once watched a fine negotiator interact with people whom he knew quite well.
Each time someone made a comment that lended to our friend™s position, he physically shifted his chair
closer to that person™s chair. If someone said something contrary to his position, he shifted his chair
away from the speaker. It soon became a game to see how much someone could say that reflected this
man™s thinking and therefore how close he would move his chair to those in agreement. Later, several
of the people got into the game and started moving their chairs in the same manner.
• Listen for the intent of what the speaker is trying to communicate. The message is not only what the
person is saying but how it is being said. Remember “read between the lines”? We must be willing to
listen between the words.
You get out of listening only what you put into it. Project team members may be telling you something
important. They may be indicating that the project will come in six months late or that the budget is
going to be overrun by 190 percent. In some cases, the message is not obvious. Perhaps they are
expressing frustration in getting part of the job completed, which may be indicative of a global
problem. Your team members need your help.
Listening is probably the best communication skill. Pay attention, don™t interrupt, don™t change the
subject, and don™t take over. Make every person with whom you interact feel that what he or she is
saying is the most important thing in your life at that moment and that it will influence the outcome of
the project. Remember that each communication may have a significant impact on some aspect of your
project. Don™t miss that vital message.
A project team communication plan has many benefits: you™ll have fewer forgotten tasks if you
remember to involve the right people early enough in the project to guide your planning efforts, and
you™re likely to reduce the number of wrenches thrown at the project midstream. Perhaps the strongest
benefits are on the human side of the equation: You™re likely to achieve greater buy-in to the project,
and you may even reduce the impact of difficult people as well.

The Project Manager™s Authority
One of the biggest concerns of most project managers is their high degree of responsibility ” for managing
the project management process and delivering a high-quality end product or service ” coupled with a
limited authority to manage team members and other resources. As a project manager, how can you acquire
authority? Let™s explore the possible answers to this question by distinguishing between informal and formal
authority.
Informal authority flows from any of the following sources:
• Experience/knowledge authority: This refers to knowing more about a specific subject than anyone
else. This authority is tenuous, however; a new contender can be coming up to take this venerable
position.
• Authority by association: This is the power of who you know. But it lasts only as long as the “who
you know” status is intact and the association with this person is perceived as strong.
• Personality-based authority: Well-placed prior favors or accommodations may be returned when
they provide the most results. Team members don™t forget that time when you were flexible on a
deadline or when you made other concessions they needed. Some people call this “calling-in markers.”
We call it the golden rule of doing good business.
• Credibility authority: This type of authority differs from experience, knowledge, and technical
qualifications. It is gained by the manner in which you conduct yourself: being honest, fair, and
responsible to the organization, to the team, and to yourself.


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Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

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Formal authority comes from any of the following sources:
Title
• Direct line authority: You are the person to whom the people on the team report directly. You may
have hired them and may have the ability to fire, and in all cases you determine their raises, their
promotions, and their future growth within the organization. Most project managers, however, do not
have line authority over their project team members.
-----------
• Job title or position within the organizational hierarchy: Job title and/or position do not in and of
themselves guarantee authority, but they certainly do position one to command the attention of others.
• Pecuniary authority: This is power over the purse strings ” probably the most effective control that
a project manager can have. If you have control over the budget, then you have control over the project.
This is particularly true if you have the option to employ internal staff, recruit new staff, or use outside
contractors. You may also be given the authority to provide financial incentives to your most
productive team members.
• Mandated authority: A senior executive mandates that everyone will cooperate with the project
manager. This delegated power, however, is only as strong as the executive who issues the mandate. It
is also only as strong as the consistent backing that this sponsor provides to the project manager. The
sponsor may give the greatest kick-off speech in the world, but without his or her continued support,
this power erodes very quickly.
• Performance appraisal review authority: With this type of authority, you have input into team
members™ performance appraisals. This power is only as effective as the degree of influence that this
information has on team members™ raises and promotions.
Let™s look more closely at this last type of authority: input to a team member™s performance appraisal review.
Some organizations have an organizational policy that governs the manner in which the project manager
provides performance information to the team member™s manager or supervisor. Some of the essential
elements of this process follow:
How to Provide Performance Feedback
• Project team members should know from the start of an assignment that their manager or supervisor
will obtain and use performance appraisal information from you.
• The assignment must be for a sufficient number of person-hours to warrant invoking the process.
• Your input should be obtained when the performance of the team member is fresh in your mind
rather than at the end of the appraisal period.
• Anything critical you have to say about the performance of the team member should be reviewed
with him or her before the end of the appraisal period.
• The team member™s manager or supervisor should use this information as part of the team
member™s overall performance review.

Attaining and Using Power
Authority, formal and informal, is rarely permanent. It must be constantly earned and re-earned. Rather than
think about the formal authority that you do not have, plan to acquire the power that you need to achieve your
goals.
The word power has two important meanings to you in your role as project manager. First is the rational
meaning: the ability to get things done. In an organization, this usually means the ability to get other people to
do work, especially in service of the organization™s goals. Second is the nonrational meaning: people™s
feelings and emotional needs that relate to being in control. Many people have strong emotional needs to be in
control of others or to avoid being controlled by others. Most of us have strong needs to be recognized,
acknowledged, and respected by others.
Emotional needs are easily stirred up when one person is trying to get another to do something. It is easy for
individuals to start out trying to accomplish a project goal through others and then to get confused between
the organization™s needs and their own emotional need for control or recognition. It™s also easy for the other
person to get confused over the same issues. When this happens, we often refer to the interaction as politics, a
power struggle, or a personality conflict.
One of the reasons it is so easy to get into this sort of struggle is that human needs for control and recognition
are often unconscious, and consequently reactions are unplanned. We don™t need to become amateur
psychologists to be good project managers, but it can be very useful to take a few minutes to identify some
key power needs we are likely to have to deal with as project managers. This can help us later to avoid getting
confused and will also give us bargaining power when we need it. We can gain power through the use of
several strategies.

Influencing
Influencing uses a strategy of shared power. It assumes that both parties have equal power in their own areas
and that no bargaining or pressuring needs to take place. Instead, influencing relies on interpersonal skills to
get others to cooperate for common goals. Influencing others can be accomplished by following two
guidelines:
Requirements for Influencing
1. Build and maintain reliability by being consistent in what you ask for and what you do, following
through on commitments, and being clear abut how a decision will be made.
2. Use a flexible interpersonal style in which you adjust to the person you™re with, especially your
voice tone and nonverbal behaviors.

In the long run, influencing is the most practical strategy for project managers to use. It is low cost and
effective regardless of one™s formal level of authority, and it™s good politics. Sometimes you may feel your
influencing skills aren™t quite up to the task, or perhaps you have used them but the other party isn™t following
through. Then you may wish to move on to the next strategy.

Negotiating
Negotiating uses a strategy of trading for power. It assumes that each person has something the other wants,
and neither will yield it unless compensated. Before negotiating, you have to do some analysis. First,
determine what the other person wants, either through asking outright or possibly doing some shrewd
guesswork. Second, identify what you have (or can get) that others want. Finally, identify your own needs in
the situation. What specifically do you want? What is it worth to you? Do your own personal needs and wants
conflict with the other party™s? Once you have finished analyzing the situation, you™re ready to negotiate with
the other person. The following skills will serve you well in this process:
Key Skills and Behaviors for Negotiating Successfully
• Differentiate between wants and needs ” both theirs and yours.
• Ask high, and offer low ” but don™t be ridiculous.
• When you make a concession, act as if you are yielding something of value; don™t just give in.
• Always make sure both parties feel as if they have won. This is win-win negotiating. Never let the
other party leave feeling as if he or she has been taken.



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Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

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Negotiating is a useful fallback strategy when you™re dealing with a tough customer and feel there™s a high
Title
risk of not getting what you need. Some people make an entire life-style of negotiating and become very good
at it.
If you feel you are facing a situation that is too critical to risk negotiating or if you have negotiated and the
other party isn™t honoring his or her side of the bargain, you may decide to move on to the next strategy.
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Using Coercion
Coercion uses a strategy of power imposition. It assumes that the other person has something you want but
will yield it only under force. It turns to formal organizational lines of authority to issue orders and get
compliance and requires that you know (or find out) answers to the following questions:
• Who “owns” the project? Usually it is the client. If the original client is no longer there and no owner
is apparent, who is answerable to the organization for business results that this project supports?
• Is there anyone else at a high enough level who is championing the project or has become visibly
connected with it? This person™s authority is the lever you will use to get compliance.
• Who has formal authority over the person whose compliance you need?
Your job is easiest if the person whose compliance you need is under the client™s lines of authority. If not, the
client will have to solve the same set of problems you have just been trying to solve: how to get his peer to
exert authority over the person whose compliance you need. It is worth noting that the client will have the
same set of strategies to choose from: influencing, negotiating, and using coercion. An important political
consideration is how far up the owner™s line of authority you want to go to make your request. A general rule
is to go to the lowest level you can and still be reasonably sure of success.
Once you have identified the lever of authority, you still need to persuade him or her to act. In some cases, a
word may be enough, but generally you will need negotiating skills. It is also wise to have standard project
status report documentation, showing where the project is now and the likely consequences if no action is
taken.
Using coercion is generally the least practical and most politically expensive strategy to use. Sometimes it is
necessary to use, but it should be your last resort, not your first move.
Each of the three strategies has been presented in a pure form in order to give a clear explanation. In reality,
they are mixed together according to your personal style and the needs of the situation. The more flexible you
are in using and mixing the strategies, the more powerful you are likely to be in motivating others.

Managing the Team During the Project
As work progresses on a project, several external factors will undoubtedly have an effect on the team™s
performance. In this section, we will discuss four of these factors: poor performers, turnover, adding
resources, and overtime.

Poor Performers
All projects are not blessed with superstars. In fact, many projects are not even blessed with average
performers. Not only are poor performers nonproductive, but they also distract and drag down good
performers around them. How can you get rid of poor performance?
First, find out if the poor performers are competent. Perhaps these people are wrong for the project tasks
assigned; they may perform more effectively if assigned to another task. Then determine whether these people
are aware that they are perceived as poor performers. If they are not, performance feedback and/or counseling
may help them improve their performance. If neither reassignment nor counseling helps, you must remove
poor performers from the project if possible. If that is not politically feasible, then isolate these people so they
cause a minimal amount of negative influence on the rest of the team.

Turnover
Turnover during the project can cause a negative impact on the team. If the project loses a team member and

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