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OPERATIONS STRATEGY

KRUPANIDHI SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

PROJECT TEAM MANAGEMENT


CHAPTER 5

Syllabus for Chapter 5


. Project Team Management : building high -performance project teams
,managing virtual project teams, project control process . Performance
measurement and evaluation , project quality, planning , quality assurance ,
quality audit , project closure , post completion audit .
1. How can positive and negative synergy can be observed and felt in the
daily operations of project teams?
The magic and power of teams is captured in the term synergy, which is
derived from the Greek word sunergos: working together. There is positive
and negative synergy. The essence of positive synergy can be found in the
phrase The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Conversely, negative
synergy occurs when the whole is less than the sum of the parts.
Mathematically, these two states can be symbolized by the following equations:
Positive Synergy 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 10
Negative Synergy 1 + 1 + 1+1 + 1= 2 (or even 2)
Here is a description from one team member who was interviewed:
Instead of operating as one big team we fractionalized into a series of
subgroups. The marketing people stuck together as well as the systems
guys. A lot of time was wasted gossiping and complaining about each
other. When the project started slipping behind schedule, everyone started
covering their tracks and trying to pass the blame on to others. After a
while we avoided direct conversation and resorted to e-mail. Management
finally pulled the plug and brought in another team to salvage the project.
It was one of the worst project management experiences in my life.
This same individual fortunately was also able to recount a more positive
experience:
There was a contagious excitement within the team. Sure we had our share
of problems and setbacks, but we dealt with them straight on and, at
times, were able to do the impossible. We all cared about the project and
looked out for each other. At the same time we challenged each other to do
better. It was one of the most exciting times in my life.
2. What are the characteristics of high performing teams?
The following is a set of characteristics commonly associated with highperforming teams that exhibit positive synergy.
1. The team shares a sense of common purpose, and each member is
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willing to work toward achieving project objectives.


2. The team identifies individual talents and expertise and uses them,
depending on the projects needs at any given time. At these times, the
team willingly accepts the influence and leadership of the members whose
skills are relevant to the immediate task.
3. Roles are balanced and shared to facilitate both the accomplishment of
tasks and feelings of group cohesion and morale.
4. The team exerts energy toward problem solving rather than allowing itself
to be drained by interpersonal issues or competitive struggles.
5. Differences of opinion are encouraged and freely expressed.
6. To encourage risk taking and creativity, mistakes are treated as
opportunities for learning rather than reasons for punishment.
7. Members set high personal standards of performance and encourage each
other to realize the objectives of the project.
8. Members identify with the team and consider it an important source of
both professional and personal growth.
High-performing teams become champions, create breakthrough products,
exceed customer expectations, and get projects done ahead of schedule and
under budget. They are bonded together by mutual interdependency and a
common goal or vision. They trust each other and exhibit a high level of
collaboration.
3. ExplainThe Five-Stage Team Development Model
Just as infants develop in certain ways during their first months of life,
many expert's argue that groups develop in a predictable manner. One of
the most popular models identifies five stages through which groups
develop into effective teams:
1. Forming. During this initial stage the members get acquainted with each
other and understand the scope of the project. They begin to establish
ground rules by trying to find out what behaviors are acceptable with
respect to both the project (what role they will play, what performance
expectations are) and interpersonal relations (whos really in charge). This
stage is completed once members begin to think of themselves as part of a
group.
2. Storming:As the name suggests, this stage is marked by a high degree of
internal conflict. Members accept that they are part of a project group but
resist the constraints that the project and group put on their
individuality. There is conflict over who will control the group and how
decisions will be made. As these conflicts are resolved,the project
managers leadership becomes accepted, and the group moves to the next
stage.
3. Norming. The third stage is one in which close relationships develop and
the group demonstrates cohesiveness. Feelings of camaraderie and
shared responsibility for the project are heightened. The ' norming phase
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4.

5.

KRUPANIDHI SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

is complete when the group structure solidifies and the group establishes
a common set of expectations about how members should work together.
Performing.The team operating structure at this point is fully functional
and accepted. Group energy has moved from getting to know each other
and how the group will work together to accomplishing the project goals.5. Adjourning. This model has several implications for those working on
project teams. The first is that the model provides a framework for the
group to understand its own development. Project managers have found it
useful to share the model with their teams. It helps members accept the
tensions of the storming phase, and it directs their focus to moving
toward the more productive phases. Another implication is that it stresses
the importance of the norming phase, which contributes significantly to
the level of productivity experienced during the performing phase. Project
managers, as we shall see, have to take an active role in shaping group
norms that will contribute to ultimate project success.
What are the Situational Factors Affecting Team Development?
There are 10 or fewer members per team.
Members volunteer to serve on the project team.

Members serve on the project from beginning to end.


Members are assigned to the project full time.
Members are part of an organization culture that fosters
cooperation and trust.
Members report solely to the project manager.
All relevant functional areas are represented on the team. .

The project involves a compelling objective.


Members are located within conversational distance of each other.
In reality, it is rare that a project manager is assigned a project that meets
all of these conditions. For example, many projects requirements dictate
the active involvement of more than 10 members and may consist of a
complex set of interlocking teams comprising more than 100
professionals. In many organizations, functional managers or central
manpower offices assign project members with little input from the project
manager. To optimize resource utilization, team member involvement may
be part time, and/or participants may move in and out of the project team
on an as-needed basis. In the case of ad hoc task forces, no member of
the team works full time on the project Team members often report to
different managers, and, in some cases, the project manager will have no
direct input over performance appraisals and advancement opportunities
of team members. Key functional areas may not be represented during the
entire duration of the project but may only be involved in a sequential
manner. Not all projects have a compelling objective. It can be hard to get
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members excited about mundane projects such as a simple product


extension or a conventional apartment complex. Finally, team members
are often scattered across different corporate offices and buildings or, in
the case of a virtual project, across the entire globe.
It is jmportant for project managers and team members to recognize the
situational constraints they are operating under and do the best they can.
It would be naive to believe that every project team has the same potential
to evolve into a high-performance team. Under less-than-ideal conditions,
it may be a struggle just to meet project objectives. Ingenuity, discipline,
and sensitivity to team dynamics are essential to maximizing the
performance of a project team.

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