August 21, 2015 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management Best Practices
Co-locate the Project Team to Help Ensure Success
By Richard Morreale
“I believe that managing a project without the team co-located , especially if part of the team is working at home, is about as difficult as herding cats.”
If there is one thing I hate when I’m running a project it’s to have my Project Team spread out all over the place. I like to have all of my Team sitting in the same place or, at least, located close to each other. I’m well aware that this is sometimes difficult to make happen but if at all possible you should do what it takes to make it happen.
Instilling the soft skills into the Team is much easier when the Team members are in one place. It is easier for the Team to be motivated, to be more passionate about the project, to be more committed to delivering a quality product, to be more helpful with each other, to share responsibility, and to celebrate success, etc. when they are located together.
It also provides a better environment for good communication within the Team. I have found that poor communication is one of the 10 major reasons for project failure, so, the better the communication, the better chance the project has to be successful.
By the way, for example, on an IT project, I’m not just talking about the IT people. I’m also talking about the users that have been assigned to the project. Now I know that some of you are saying that that truly is impossible. Well, when I took over a major project at a large insurance company, I was able to convince the user senior management to not only assign a number of users to the project on a full time basis but also to assign a number of others to test the system on a part time basis. In addition, when both the full time and part time user resources were working on the project, they shared the office with the project team. It really helped ensure that the final delivery of the product was on time, within budget and met the expectations of the users.
One of the other situations that project managers are running into these days is parts of the project team working from home. I find it very difficult to run a successful project with a large part of the team working at home. I don’t mind someone working at home with a specific task or activity to complete as long as the work can be done independently of others. But, if I were you, I would attempt to avoid homeworking as much as possible.
Richard is a project manager, professional speaker, author and consultant specializing in Project Management, Leadership, Achievement and Customer Service.
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