By Elisabeth Goodman
It’s been an honour, whilst also slightly intimidating, to have a chapter included in this latest project management publication edited by Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott: the Gower Handbook of People in Project Management1.
Project teams may want to get to “high performance” more rapidly than operational teams
As I say in the preamble, project teams will go through various stages of development, but they may want to get to high performance at a more accelerated rate than that usually achieved by longer-term operational teams.
In this chapter I take readers through an adapted version of Tuckman’s stages of team development2: I use forming, storming, norming, high performing and renewing in my work with teams.
I also explore how these difference stages, and the different personality types from Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and Belbin’s team roles, can be overlaid on the project lifecycle to give team leaders real insights on how they could help their teams reach high performance more rapidly and painlessly than might otherwise be the case.
Learning techniques taken from Knowledge Management also have a key role in team development
The final part of the chapter takes readers through various Knowledge Management techniques: peer assists, after action reviews, learning retrospects and communities of practice that project teams could usefully use at various stages of their lifecycle to foster high performing teams.
My colleague John Riddell and I are currently putting the finishing touches to our own Gower publication3 that will take readers in greater depth through these and other Knowledge Management techniques.
There is a whole raft of other tools available to help teams in their development
Lock and Scott’s impressive publication runs to 865 pages. As the title of the book implies, it contains a vast range of reflections, insights and guidance on how to address the people aspect of project management. A focus on people will inevitably enhance the quality of the team overall, and so advance it in its development.
It’s going to take me quite a while to read through this treasure of a book, but examples of the topics that caught my attention in the first 11 of 63 chapters were:
- Successes and failures of people in projects
- Project sponsors and stakeholders
- Use of contractors
- Managing in matrix, international and virtual project organisations
Somewhere in the later chapters I spotted further themes on NeuroLinguisticProgramming (NLP) and also spirituality. So lots to explore!
- Elisabeth Goodman. Team Development, in Gower Handbook of People in Project Management. Ed Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott. Gower Publishing Ltd, 2013 Chapter 32, pp. 403-415
- Tuckman, B. and Jensen, M. Stages of small group development revisited. Group and Organisational Studies, 1977 pp 419-427
- Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell. Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry: enhancing Research, Development and Manufacturing performance. In preparation.