Individual commitment and mutual respect are the linchpins
of a strong team.
BY SHEILINA SOMANI, FAPM, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Every project manager has a dream team—and I just had the pleasure of working with mine. It was a volunteer project
that required a demanding set of deliverables. And although we were all
extremely happy to wrap up our work,
there was also an element of sadness at
the dissolution of the team.
As we concluded the project, we
took time to reflect upon why the team
functioned so well and agreed on some
key contributing factors:
; We shared values with respect to volunteer work. This was established
through our initial conversations
about why we were willing to put
time into the project and what each
of us envisaged achieving.
; We shared a commitment to doing the work to the best
of our abilities. We established this through frank dialogue about what each of us does well and what we find
frustrating, and agreeing that the outcomes and due
dates were achievable.
; We respected our different perspectives by talking about
past experiences, hopes for this endeavor and the challenges each of us would strive to avoid.
; We all enjoyed the diversity of race, gender, age, heritage,
experiences, influences and attitudes that each of us contributed to the project and the environment.
These values were espoused by each of us individually
and collectively. We are all strong communicators, able to
express ourselves well, but equally able to listen, integrate
and consider the opinions and needs of other team members.
We moved quickly from polite interaction into energetic
because we all believe in the value of contribution. We also
took time to appreciate contributions from one another—
listening, questioning and reframing content as we grew
and learned from each other.
Like any team, we experienced some challenges around
planning time together and negotiating travel obstacles—
not to mention making time to break for lunch! On the
rare occasions when accord couldn’t be reached so readily,
we revisited our stakeholders, the goal of the deliverables
we were producing and the intended outcomes. We were
able to do this because we had already defined stakeholder
expectations and discussed our ability to deliver.
Our success was based upon personal commitment, fostered by mutual respect and strong communication skills.
Ultimately, we shared the same vision—a vision that was
refined as we learned. That teamwork is what every project
manager strives for, but it’s individual commitment from
each of us that makes the difference. PM
One of the reasons we were such a great team was the lack
of ego. We all care passionately about project management
and gave freely of our time, experience and professionalism
Sheilina Somani, FAPM, PMP, is the
owner of U.K.-based Positively Project
Management, providing consulting,
mentoring and development services.