Different people have their own tendencies and styles when they work. The project team members believe they can bring the best value if they can perform the job with their favourite styles. Therefore, the PM should know about the style and habits of a team member.
There are mainly 4 working styles:
- Action-Minded They are also known as a Doer. The main focus of Action-Minded people is to get the task done. They use language such as “When we perform it” or “I just want this to get done”. They show interest in creating the deliverables. Bearing in mind that the purpose of a project is to produce a deliverable so that to facilitate the firm achieves its goals, the Action-Minded team members are the backbone of the project team. They are not so interested to do the administrative task such as updating the project progress report
- Social-Minded They are the communicator in the project team and can help the PM to improve the working relationship with the team. They use language such as “We”, even if they are expressing their own idea. They enjoy working in a team and socializing which they do by arranging get-to-gather meeting or birthday. As they are a great communicator in the team and are eager to understand about others point of view, they notice the progress of relationship or project issue sooner and can help PM to resolve the issue quicker.
- Planner-Minded The timescale of the project is managed by Planner-Minded members. They are interested to know about the scope of the work and the deadline of tasks and as the project moves forward planner will typically track the project against its baseline. They are usually good at many aspects of the project provided that the expectations of the plan are clear. No wonder, unclear approach and expectations are not their favourite and that is why the Agile method is not welcomed by them!
- Analyst-Minded They have always many alternatives to perform the task. They seek for the more efficient approach of getting the job done and can help PM decide which path to choose when it is needed. Unlike Planner, they enjoy a little unclearness because it gives them a chance to investigate and to choose the best option and solve a problem.
Building the right team with the right working style
It is recommended to have a team with a balance of all 4 working styles. It is best if team members have the mixture of styles. Having a good technical and business knowledge is critical to the success of the project. Furthermore, team members with good relationship skills can foster trust among the team as well customer and significantly increase the chance of project success.
Clear expectations are the key
It is vital for the PM to create a cohesive team which works in harmony during the project. In order to maximize the efficiency and to prevent the occurrence of conflict, not only the expectations of business should be clear, how the PM would measure the success of team member also need to be clearly explained and agreed with Project team ahead of time. It is also essential to establish rules and clarify the requirement of the business so that team members contribute equally, support each other and archive the desired result appropriately. Using the 2007 version of Microsoft Project and the agreed schedule for a meeting on Tuesdays at 6:00, are examples of rules which minimize the challenge and conflict in the project team. It is also vital to have detail explanation about the quality of the deliverable and the outcome of the project. In another word, the performance criteria of the objective of the tasks should be crystal clear for project team members and must be firmly tied to the project objectives.
How to foster team’s competencies?
Each member of the team might have different approaches and working style. therefore, the occurrence of a conflict about how to do the work is not surprising when team member with different opinion works on the same work. On the other hand, there is such a great amount of opposite opinion that the PM cannot deal with all of them. Therefore, it is suggested to develop a decision-making process aiming at both minimizing the challenges and maximize the contribution of team members.
It is also of great importance to develop the skills and capability of the project team and coach them in greater depth such that they have greater confidence to perform the task. Methods such as shadowing, appointing new people to lead a collaborative team, arranging skill-sharing sessions and delegating a task to a person beyond its role are examples by which the PM develop and foster the team member’s skills.