Monday, January 19, 2009

What Questions Should be Answered at the Start of a Project?

Effective teams do not just happen naturally, and planning for effective teams is a planned process that can have a positive influence on the success of the project. The following questions should be asked of the project manager prior to the project getting underway:

  • Is the team aligned to a common vision?
  • Are there clear roles and responsibilities across all team members?
  • Has the team articulated a Code of conduct and Ground rules? Is it being followed?
  • Have the skills necessary and a training plan been established to develop the skills on the team?
  • Is there an established and documented communication plan?
  • Has the team set up the physical space and co-located?
  • Has the team established a shared war room with the required artifacts and communication tools?
  • Has the team planned a project kickoff workshop to ramp up the team?
  • Is there a team growth plan in place?
  • Is there a team performance plan in place?

Project teams are a common and established method of organizing the resources on a project. There is, however, a wide variation in the effectiveness of these project teams. Ineffective teams have low morale, low performance, high turnover, and are generally less capable of delivering on the project scope. The goal of the project manager is to plan for and establish an effective team that is aligned to project goals, develops a strong sense of interdependency and is highly functional and successful at meeting or exceeding project objectives.