What is a perfect Team?

A perfect team is group of individuals who have the perfect blend of skills and learning and who can do the right things with the right skills with the right frame of mind and at the right time.

Sounds very easy to say, but very difficult to achieve in reality

One of the most challenging tasks for any project manager executing a project is to build a right mix of team for the project. A wrong combination of project team can wreak havoc on any project, the repercussions of which cannot be easily rectified .In most of the cases the right mix is achieved too late in the project, by that time the only thing that remains possible is to salvage the best out the project. This is a nightmare situation which every project manager would like to avoid at any cost.

I have struggled a lot in attempting to find a solution to this problem. I have used hit and trials, gut feelings and a plethora of variables like organizational culture, external environment factors, skill gap analysis and internal organizational competency strength etc. to get to some sort of framework which I can leverage across every project. Finally all my analysis boiled down to just two important variables, which if controlled properly can mitigate the effects of other factors to a large extent. They are:

1. Skill/Competency of the resource

2. The attitude of the resource

So I plotted a graph with the Skill variable ranging from low to high on the vertical axis and the Attitude ranging from positive to negative on the horizontal axis. The results are as below.

So we identify four types of resources:

1. The Stars: They are the people having great technological skills and a great attitude. They are the backbone of the project. A project manager should nurture them, give them responsibilities and provide every opportunity possible for them to enhance their leadership skills. They are the future leaders.

2. The potentials: They are the learners. They have low technological skills but have a great attitude to learn and develop themselves. These people need to be groomed and mentored preferably by stars so that they become great project resources. These resources should be given more responsibilities as they develop.

3. The disrupters: They are the mavericks. They are technologically sound but have a negative and sometimes arrogant attitude. Attempts can be made to impart soft skills to these individuals but mostly the attitude does not seem to change. These people have an independent streak in them and are not comfortable working in a team. So a project manager should try to assign them independent responsibilities and tap their creative potential in the best way possible. These resources often create disruptive innovations if properly utilized.

4. The incompetent: They need to be avoided if possible. If not, then they need to be closely monitored, plodded and given tough deadlines for completion of work. Care should be taken not to allow them to create negative energies within the project.

One word of caution, we are dealing with people here and people cannot be categorized always into four straight boxes. There will be people with multiple shades of grey and black, people who overlap multiple boxes and people who fail to fit into any category. These resources require the judicious judgment of the project manager and his expertise to get the maximum out of them.



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