Categorized | Management

Five Common Problems With Project Teams And How To Solve Them

It’s a fact. Even the best teams encounter problems in certain projects from time to time, especially when in a scenario where there are many factors that can be quite uncertain. Fortunately for these problems, a good risk management plan can often be quite helpful in preventing them, and if not preventing them, to at least ensure that they can be easily addressed.

Problems within a project team, however, are not so easily addressed. Here are some of the problems that teams encounter and how to help prevent them, and if not, manage them.

1. Interpersonal Conflicts. Often, the biggest problem that teams encounter has to do with personality clashes and incompatible work styles. Unfortunately, not all team managers are able to handpick teams members, and certain specializations needed to complete certain tasks and deliverables offer a limited choice for manpower. In this case, it then becomes important to observe team dynamics, as well as the different styles of working and communicating. Knowing how each team member relates to the others can help prevent delays caused by friction and conflicts caused by personalities, and should they happen, lead to more efficient conflict management.

Pressure, overwork and unrealistic deadlines can also affect the team in a negative way. Too much stress from unreasonable schedules or unrealistic deadlines can lead to even more conflict. This is why proper scheduling and planning is a must.

2. Unqualified or Misplaced Team Members. Choosing the right people for the job with the right qualifications (as well as inclinations and interests) and who can work well together is the first step in ensuring a highly productive team. If necessary, training and familiarization with necessary new skills and best practices should be given to the team members, with the schedule must accommodating the time needed for this phase. Implementing lessons learned processes and documentation can also help establish best practices that can greatly improve efficiency and help speed up any project, and are useful for subsequent ones.

3. Insufficient Knowledge about Details of the Project. For a team to work smoothly, each member needs to know the various aspects of the project. Proper alignment on goals, objectives, and the business environment that resulted in the project being initiated not only helps put the work in perspective but enables members to make decisions related to individual tasks, reduces delays over minor points and prevents friction arising from conflicts in personal goals and objectives.

4. Unclear roles and responsibilities. Good project management should specify which tasks team members are responsible for– making sure that this is clear from the start helps prevent missed tasks and duplicate work– something that can be easily solved by proper project planning. The project manager should also make sure to set project leadership and facilitation roles, tasks that are often

5. Lack of clear communications. Open and clear lines of communication are the only way to ensure a smooth workflow, peak performance and harmonious working relationships. Establishing a clear and defined feedback and reporting mechanisms among team members as well as between the team and management can help improve communications that will ensure success of the project. Systematic communications like this also reduce the need for meetings that take away time from working on the project itself, thus reducing delays.

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