Tips to build the right team


Initiation/Definition


Identify the project sponsor and ensure they understand their responsibilities


Set the project team boundaries correctly - include procurement staff and any suppliers responsible for a product that is critical to the solution/project (whatever tier in the supply chain they are)


Build a team that understands the complete solution (include a Design Authority)


Build & motivate teamworking - share the vision and build a team culture aiming for success


Don't skimp resource at first - better to start off with too much resource than too little; you can always shed resource if it isn't needed, but it delays projects if you start with too little


Set clear roles and responsibilities in the project, and explain the consequences of failing to meet them


Understand and document the uncertainties in the project and share with the sponsor


Identify and involve all key stakeholder representatives from the start, especially end-users and maintainers - usability and maintainability are key success criteria.


Delivery/Development


Lead the project, don't just manage it. Leading change requires:

  •  Giving inspiration and direction
  •  Building and empowering an effective team
  •  Coaching people to sustain change
  •  Developing and applying soft skills; mediating not confronting
  •  Using the right leadership style for the situation, not “one size fits all”
  •  Set the example of behaviours and attitudes desired


Forge the project team and reinforce team behaviour


Plan for succession/staff turn-over, especially on projects over 3 months


Plan for changes in staffing as far in advance as possible


If there is a risk of resource shortfall, start looking for the right people right away and escalate there is a resource risk


If there is a resource shortfall, impact assess the situation and formally raise the issue as soon as possible


Final Delivery/Handover


Identify the trainers and super-users in good time - no solution works without suitably trained people


Prepare all the training materials and communications to stakeholders


Plan for the human aspects of go-live. It is easy to focus on the material aspects of the project, forgetting the people


Train, train, train - everyone who has to work with the solution needs to be both effective and efficient


Plan for the redeployment of the project team once the project is complete


Plan for some relevant project staff to stay on for operational support



Post Project/Benefits Realization


Maintain the right standard of staff to use and maintain the solution


Brief the “Phase 2” project team thoroughly. There is often a follow-on phase to deliver additional aspects that careful scope management kept out of the original project to avoid it failing

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From Chaos to Control