Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tips on Selecting Your Project Team

For major and complex projects that you may be called upon to manage, you will likely be required to select staff to be part of your project team. This is one of the most important decisions you will make as a new project manager, and you would be wise to avoid under-estimating its significance.

Your project team members may be selected from a pool of existing staff from within your organisation who you may seek to have seconded to your project on a full time basis. Or there may be internal staff who will allocate an agreed portion of their time to your project whilst still having other responsibilities. There may even be occasions where you need to source external talent to work on a contract basis for the duration of your project.

So, as a new project manager, what should you consider when selecting your project team? …. If you don’t have much experience with this, then here are some tips to help you with the selection process

1.  Complete your task breakdown, and from this list identify the skills and experience that will be required to perform these tasks. But do not limit your “selection criteria” for members of your project team to purely a technical skill set. Equally consider the necessity of personal attributes such as reliability, co-operative team skills and initiative
2.  Try to ensure that your expectations are realistic, or you can end up wasting too much time seeking the “perfect” person to meet all of your skill requirements. There is likely a budget for your project that will place some limits upon who you can actually afford to pay.
3.  Recognise the balance of risks in selecting people who are either under-qualified or over-qualified. On the one hand, those people lacking the requisite experience  will need more direction and guidance from you. And on the other hand, those with extremely high credentials may possibly lose interest if they are not feeling sufficiently challenged.

A great resource article that offers examples of questions you might ask to assess candidates for various attributes such as initiative and personal organisational skills is Interview Questions To Ask

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