Tips to build the right team


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.


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