When dealing with the management of an organisation's resources, it is essential to establish a strategy for supporting the project structures with appropriate team structures and leadership style. A necessary consideration is to identify how human resources may affect the progress of the project and whether a specific plan must be in place.
There are three very important aspects of project management that relate to the way the human resources are structured and organised in a project, and we will discuss them in this chapter. It is critical to be in control of the way a project addresses issues relating to:
* team formation
* role allocation
A. ORGANISING SUITABLE TEAM STRUCTURES
When putting together a project team, we must be absolutely clear of the role that this team must fulfil. We need to determine the strategic decisions that must be made for the teams to be structured in such a way that ensures:
* achieving the project objectives
* working efficiently towards the project deliverables
* dealing with any project tasks and team-related problems
* communicating effectively
* performing according to the project plan
* engaging in decision-making and problem solving
* Supporting the project stages and allocated activities.
These are only some of the benefits to a project that may be achieved by putting together the right team. However this is not a simple task, and making sure that the requirements for team structure are identified is a necessary first step.
Criteria Affecting the Team Role
The process of creating a project team should begin by identifying the role of the team. For certain project types, the team role can be defined by determining the scope of the project deliverables for which the team will be responsible. This means that the project team must be created in order to fulfill a functional need. A number of functional specialisations can be defined in order to classify the type of team structure. Some examples of team specialisation may
* research and development
* Human resources.
These are functional areas where most team members should be able to operate, possess relating skills, qualifications and prior experience.
Apart from the function performed by teams, there are several additional criteria that may affect the method chosen for structuring the team.
Some of these criteria may include:
An organisation's scope may be to create and deliver specific products, and teams may be structured in such a way that their focus is on specific product ranges. Examples could include manufacturing companies producing cars or computers. The production teams must be specialised in certain product ranges in order to demonstrate optimum performance, and be experienced enough to troubleshoot any defective components and deal with rapid shifts in requirements and other product related issues. The focus is on product development specialisation and specific skills.
An organisation may include a customer-centred department where after-sales support or pre-sales services are provided. Teams may be structured to deal with customer needs of different natures and sometimes such needs may span across different levels of specialisation. The customer demands and the level of attention required may also affect who becomes part of the team. Such teams may include teams dealing with specific customer problems (e.g. product-related queries, customer account enquiries), and may differ according to the customer prioritisation. Customers may...