I get many grumbles and negative comments when people start to talk about their project teams during project management training courses . The complaints are mainly about resourcing especially team selection.
When I probe further it appears as though little time has been put into either selecting team members or building the actual teams.
Much time and money is put into the selection of internal full time staff. CV’s and telephone interviews often start the process off, followed by more formal interviews. Often the recruitment process involves psychometric tests and team activities followed by the inevitable interview. The cost of this process is pretty high with employers saying the quality of candidates they appoint links very well with the person specification.
Switch to your company, your projects and your selection approach for project teams. What do they look like?
- do you spend time identifying the key skills people will need for the project?
- do you look at those in the company who meet the skills identified?
- do you look at availability of the resources for the duration of the project
- do you produce a development plan for those people chosen for the project team – identifying current skills alongside the new skill(s) required with as plan of how the individual will get there?
Don’t assume you will have the skills internally or even buy in the skills externally. According to reports, there is a national skills gap!
What about key company projects? How are your teams selected?
There is a need for this thinking to be applied to those key organisational projects; those projects that will make a real difference to the business. Resourcing your projects with the right staff is business critical. You can use strategic projects as a training ground for more inexperienced project managers or team members but only if they are carefully selected and carefully developed and you have a role for them.
So next project think about how you are going to select the resources to staff it and ensure its effective delivery.