Published on August 18th, 2022 | by Christopher Porteus


Signs of a Development Project Dream Team

Managing a project team can be one of the most stressful jobs for even the most seasoned supervisor. Too many moving and sometimes delicate parts go into a project that even the simplest error could mean disaster. It cannot be emphasized enough how essential it is to form a project team with laser focus on a singular goal.

It is not enough to recruit competent people and well-trained specialists who fit their roles perfectly. They need to be able to function as a cohesive unit that shares enthusiasm and a strong desire to fulfill the project’s vision.

As a project manager, you need to ensure your team functions optimally to meet deadlines and exceed expectations. Here are a couple of signs you want to see in your team to be successful.

They have clearly defined objectives

Your team needs to have a definite and clear goal going into a project. You would be surprised how many people do their tasks without understanding their purpose.

Everyone needs to work toward achieving the same objective and understand the end goals. Clearly defined objectives help your team members understand the direction of the team. It also makes it simpler for your team members to collaborate and likely find success in their goals.

Clear objectives give your members a sense of ownership. They are more likely to work hard at and own those objectives if they establish them together as a team.

That sense of ownership lasts longer when team members see that other team members support the same work. Clear goals bring unity, while unclear goals bring about confusion or division.

When team members disagree on the purpose of their objectives, they will not work together. To make matters worse, they will likely attempt to accomplish the goals alone based on their interpretation. They will likely protect their own objectives even if it costs the whole team.

They understand their assigned roles.

When team members understand their assigned roles, it does not stop at knowing what they need to do. Clearly defining roles means recognizing individual talents and utilizing the expertise of each team member.

Assigning clearly defined roles helps team members understand and value their position on the team.

Typical sources of conflict among team members come from confusion about their roles. A good project team clearly understands each individual’s responsibility to meet the team’s objectives without issue.

When team members are comfortable with their roles, operations run smoothly with minimal need for further instruction.

They have open communication systems

It cannot be stressed enough how essential open communications are within the team. It is arguably the most critical part of any project team.

Nothing can offset or ruin a project altogether more than miscommunication among those working on the project. Sometimes some things as mundane as providing constructive feedback and good listening skills can come a long way.

When your team has clear and open communication, they keep focused, informed, and persistent. Your members should always be free to express their opinions at any time clearly and concisely. However, they must also be good listeners to ensure valid points come across and action plans run smoothly.

Healthy communication among your project team also helps improve cross-team collaboration. With cross-team collaboration, departments can exchange information and valuable methods to complete tasks more efficiently without worrying about overstepping their duties.

That is why big companies invest in communication software and project management tools like Shortcut to improve cross-team collaboration. It speeds up the decision-making processes since all necessary parties are in the loop and eliminates instances of misinformation.

They always strive for equal participation

While communication is the most crucial aspect of any project team, participation plays a close second. Without participation, your team is no better than a paperweight, except paperweight does not cost company funds and resources.

Equal participation ensures all team members are fully involved and committed to the project’s vision. That does not mean that if you have ten people, each person runs their mouth 10% of the time.

Speaking does not always equate to participation. Sometimes, it has the opposite effect if their words have no substance.

Equal participation means each person contributes something substantial to the progress and betterment of the project. That contribution can be as simple as providing valuable insights to assisting a team member struggling with tasks.

The most crucial factor in your team member’s individual participation is balance. You do not want team members to be too passive or too pushy either. A member who does not participate is just as bad as one who encroaches on other people’s work. That kind of behavior could do more harm than good, especially in something as complicated as software development.

The key to forming a great development team is the second word that describes it: team. There is no room for individual glory or lack of commitment to the project.

Your members must understand that their talents mean nothing if they cannot work with the rest of their team. Even the best developer can only do so much without the rest of the development project team. Eventually, they will be unable to sustain it, and the project will either fall behind schedule or fail. 

Other than the signs mentioned, anything after that ultimately boils down to how the project manager handles their team. Building a development team that possesses all these signs is ideal. However, if they lack these qualities, you need to mold them to develop where they are lacking.

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About the Author

Chris Porteous is a veteran in the tech space, founding Framestr and writing about his experiences scaling startups. When he's not working, he's writing about the latest tech products and providing insights on how to utilize technology to improve your life.

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