People make projects happen. Get the right people onto it and whooska…magic happens.

From the past 20 years in projects, with many failures, with many projects started and not all finished (full disclosure here) and with many successes along the way, it makes me think each time, as to what really is the game-changing move to make on a project to ensure it will happen.

There are quite a few choices here:

  • Do you make it so simple, that it’s easy to execute… Yes
  • Do you make it not negotiable, because the Why behind the project is so frickin compelling, it has to happen…Yes
  • Do you get super creative with the approach and try something new to find a breakthrough…Yes
  • Do you just recruit the best people available to you? Hell Yes!

I know for sure, that it will always be the person behind the project that makes the difference, not the project itself.

You can have a rubbish project, run by a great team and it will still happen.

It’s always going to be about the people on it, the team behind it.

Choosing the right project team is critical and here are some insights to consider if you are putting your team together

What is the role of the project manager?

Good question. Their role is many and varied in my opinion, somewhat undervalued gives the challenges they face

Essentially a project manager’s role is to lead a project through the planning, design, and execution. They handle all functions related to the project including stakeholder management, communication, risk management to name a few.

A good project manager morphs into whatever is required. From lion tamer to an analyst, from a peacekeeper to a creative force and everything in between. The ‘do whatever it takes’ trait of a great project manager is admirable.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the project managers I have been fortunate to lead and work alongside for their support and inspirational drive to not just get the project over the line but to ensure that the teams and people involved make it across the line also.

You plus who else?

Whenever I ask my colleagues about their project they have just completed and I listen to find out what they did that worked and what didn’t work, 99% of the time they tell me that the single most important factor in their projects was ‘getting the right person on it’.

And if you are a solopreneur or a small business owner, you may be just using your skills or be outsourcing one part of the project to someone else. The same rules apply – get the best person on your project and that may not necessarily be you!

I urge business owners and solopreneurs to use the power of the ‘temporary project teams’ to drive their business projects.

Projects are a great way of getting temporary resources together to work on a single focus for us and then once it’s done, the resources return to their original roles.

8 Strategies For Create Amazing Project Teams

  1. Ensure you have a people first, project second culture. The people need to make it over the line as well as the project. Projects are a team event – rarely delivered by the power of one. Don’t create burnout!
  2. Projects can be talent development opportunities – see what someone else from your team or another team can do when put into a different environment. Give people a chance to learn new skills, a new way of doing things, bring new thoughts and approaches to the project team to challenge and add value.
  3. Having said the above point, projects aren’t for everyone. Not everyone likes the temporary nature of them. Find people who like steep learning curves, but give them time to get their feet wet first before throwing them in the deep end.
  4. Teams may never meet in person/face to face – all done remotely or virtually. Make sure you set this up project well to support geographically dispersed teams and time zone friendly systems to keep communication simple and effortless.
  5. Don’t go out too early on appointing the whole team i.e. you don’t need all the resources at the start of the project. Give yourself the flexibility to scale up and down throughout the project.
  6. Know that it is likely you won’t have enough resources on your project – ever!
  7. Project teams are often less visible or out in front, so recognition goes a long way
  8. Don’t underestimate the change for people once the project is completed. For some people. Letting go is heard and for others, they can’t wait to leave!

Take your time to find the best people available to you for your next project. It will be worth it.