22 PM NETWORK MARCH 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG
VOICES Project Toolkit
Reaching project goals is
much easier when everyone’s
in sync. So we asked
practitioners: How do
you build trust on
your project team?
My team is pretty small—there are only
three of us on a regular basis. Our newest
project was to write a business plan for a
brand new facet of the organization.
We started the planning meeting by creating
‘group norms,’ basic rules that we would follow
throughout the project. We shared in brainstorming
and completed the task in about 10 minutes. Some
of the norms included: Listen while others were
speaking, be lovingly honest, be open-minded with
brainstorming and uphold the company’s culture.
For the rest of the project, we referred back to these
norms and offered guidance to each other if we were
falling short. It may seem like common sense to have
a set of norms, but unless they are written down and
specifically addressed, they can be easily forgotten.
Lead by Example
To build trust, the project manager needs
to lead by example and act selflessly,
becoming the glue between teammates.
It’s hard to build trust because a team member may
not put the good of the team before his or her needs.
The good news is that each team member is capable
of that selflessness to a lesser or greater degree, and
the project manager can encourage it.
However, trust will not be built by forcing employees on a team to do things against their will. On
a project I once led, two team members broke trust
between each other. It took a lot of encouragement
and understanding to mend the relationship, and it
had to happen organically.”
—Alexandre Debernard, PMP, senior electronics engineer
and project manager, Legrand, Grenoble, France