How to Make an Effective Project Management Team: Three Popular Models
Have you ever wondered what are the methods and basics of organizing a successful team? In this article, we’ll analyze proven management models that can be used to improve the effectiveness of work within a project team.
#1 Management Model
This is a perfect option when forming a new project team. If you’ve ever had to assemble a team that consists of your friends who don’t know each other, you know for a fact that you can never turn a group of strangers into a perfectly cooperative team.
The origin of this team-building formula goes back to 1965, when psychologist Bruce Tuckman, determined that groups of people can go through up to 5 stages as they transform from a set of people into a more cohesive unit:
- Forming. People come together to agree on their common goals and to understand who is to play what role.
- Storming. Some conflict begins between the members of the group when they find out about each other’s work.
- Norming. At this stage, all interpersonal relations can be characterized as very cohesive. Each participant actively supports the work contributions of the other members of the group. Work leadership is slowly distributed, and the boundaries between subgroups (if any) are completely erased. People start to trust each other more, which actively contributes to their overall cohesion.
- Performing. This is where the so-called “magic” happens. The team begins to perform tasks with a precise understanding of each other.
- Adjourning. The final stage implies the dissolution of the team after the work is completed. But, the end of a cohesive team can be a real crisis for some participants because of the rapidly emerging uncertainty of future tasks.
- If the QA team knows exactly the natural stages of development, it will have an easier time completing its tasks.
- Well-established work on the first point will allow team leaders to determine what stages the team is at, whether it needs help solving problems or eliminating tensions.
- Focus solely on newly created teams, there is not enough context for previously created ones that work on an ongoing basis.
- From the first point, there is insufficient context for what needs to be done if there is a sense that the team is struct in one place, without moving forward.
# 2 The Lencioni Model
This is a good option for situations where you need to identify the range of potential problems looming over the team. The model answers the question, “What doesn’t make a team effective?”
Model author Patrick Lencioni believes five key factors ultimately cause teams to be less productive:
- Mutual distrust. Team members are afraid to voice their opinions, are reluctant to ask for help, and rarely offer their help to others. Such teams spend a lot of time not on the work itself, but on giving the impression of hard they “work”.
- Avoiding a conflict situation. Employees are not ready to “rock the boat”, keep silent, or try to maintain harmony.
- Total irresponsibility. Fear of conflict generates fear of making key decisions. None of the employees is ready to take responsibility for the decision made.
- Undemanding. Team members do not care how effectively their colleagues do their jobs. Employees try to avoid situations in which they are required to point out problems in their colleagues’ work.
- Absolute indifference to the outcome of work. The final stage of the team’s common vices. Employees do not care what the final result of their work is. Participants are not personally responsible for their contributions to the common cause.
- Allows you to find the main source of dysfunction;
- Allows managers to quickly identify traps to avoid when recruiting people to new teams.
- The method is not based on empirical data;
- Does not answer the question of how managers themselves should handle the most common dysfunctions within work teams.
#3 GRPI Model
Used in situations where you want to analyze why your team is not working efficiently.
When work processes within a team are not going well, it may be tempting to point to interpersonal conflicts and squabbles. As the GRPI model demonstrates, for a group to be effective, only 4 constituent elements are sufficient:
- Goals. The team must have a clear understanding of what they are working on together.
- Role. The team must be aware of who is doing what, without unnecessary ambiguity;
- Process. Employees must understand how decisions are made and how work is done;
- Relationships among co-workers. Employees must respect each other’s communication style and manner of doing each other’s work.
Schematically, the model can be described as a pyramid in which the movement is focused down to the bottom as you or your colleagues try to figure out where something is wrong.
- Makes the team analyze its dysfunction from all sides;
- Distracts from interpersonal relationships, which lowers tensions and increases overall cohesion.
Sometimes this model can simplify the complexity of interpersonal relationships.