International Project Management Day




Resource Index > People Management > Team Building

Team Building

Building cross-functional teams has unique challenges. Unlike a functional group, whose members share a common professional discipline, cross-functional team members will be coming from different functional disciplines. Often they will have dramatically different experience sets and points of view. The resources collected here will help you find the right people for your project effort, and turn that diverse collection of "people working together" into a productive team.

How can we help you with your team building efforts?

Examples of Team Building in Action
These examples show you what a good team looks like in action, with stories and tools from actual teams on real projects.

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  • When Are We a Team?
    Most of the time, we're only a team because we report to the same boss. How can you make your team more of a team?
  • Learning from Building
    An unusual class provides an exceptional model for collaborative learning on projects.
  • It Takes Ten Hands
    What a brilliant basketball coach can teach us about building a winning team.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Software Release Team Member Glossary
    This list defines all the roles that may be needed on a software release team and summarizes their responsibilities.
  • Sample Team Meeting Agenda
    If you're looking for an efficient way to get the group working together, try this sample project team agenda, which emphasizes using objectives and timeslots to keep meetings effective.
  • Team Meetings Descriptions Sample
    Check out one team's approach to communicating in their meeting-phobic environment -- describing their critical meeting types in a way that portrays their practicality and value.
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  • Agenda: Software Development Managers' Offsite Meeting
    Sample agenda and instructions for an offsite meeting to discuss improving management processes and approaches for a department -- an often challenging team building venture.
  • Task Responsibility Matrix Formats
    Formats and example contents for a team Responsibility Matrix, to keep track of key task dependencies and hand offs.
  • Responsibility Allocation Matrix
    Detailed and role-focused, this matrix asks all project team members to consider their key project tasks, the inputs they need, and the outputs they expect to deliver, for a more complete look at the cross-functional dependencies in your plan.
Guidelines and Suggestions for Building a Productive Team
How do you create the synergy that makes a team outperform the sum of its individuals? How do you focus a team on collective rather than individual performance goals? These resources will help.

For Guests
These resources are available to everyone, no login required.
  • Four Tips to Help You Be a Better Team Player
    Regardless of whether you hold a formal title of project manager, or your just one of those people who winds up leading initiatives time after time, here are some things to think about that might just make team work a little easier.
  • Be Careful What You Measure, You Just Might Get It
    What do you really want from your team members? Lines of code? Bugs found? Use cases? Or teamwork?
  • Develop Each Team Member as a Person
    When you develop people, you are helping them to improve as individuals. You are helping them acquire personal qualities that will benefit them in many areas of life, not just their jobs. This article provides best practices for developing your team members.
  • A Winning Team
    Easy steps to selecting a winning project team.
  • Context in Communication
    Get others up to speed on your insider stories, and both your team and your communication will be the better for it.

    Find more team building articles on our Project Practitioners blog.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Fast, Effective Ramp Up of New Team Members
    You can't afford to have new team members milling around unproductively trying to figure out their project role and responsibilities. Throw them a rope and get them productive faster with this detailed guideline.
  • Project Team Rewards and Recognition Guideline
    Project work is serious, but it shouldn't be drudgery. This guideline provides ideas, suggestions, and a detailed example from one team's reward-planning activities.
  • Team Member Introductions
    The process outlined in this guideline will accelerate your team's "getting to know you" process so they will become more productive with less time trying to figure each other out.
  • A User's Guide to Working with Me
    This quick chart helps team members communicate their most effective modes of work, including hot buttons, trust-builders, the best ways to raise and resolve conflicts, and more.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
Other Options
  • We've selected a number of books on team building for you to browse.
  • Project Kickoff Bundle
    Practical tools and guidelines for launching your team so that everyone understands the project objectives and how their work fits.
  • Getting the Right Project Team, the First Time, a mini-course by Cinda Voegtli.
    This course will help you identify a strong, cross-functional core team for your project, along with any other resources you'll need, and to make sure the team has the skills and experience needed to complete the work successfully.
  • Rewarding, Recognizing, and Energizing Your Team Members, a mini-course by Mike Aucoin
    Learn new ways to motivate your team, inspire them to succeed, and get them excited about the potential results, even if they are working on "just another software project."
Typical Team Building Issues and Answers to Common Questions
Managing disruptive team members, distributed groups, and diverse cultural influences presents unique challenges for any project leader. In addition, you have to be sure your team is prepared for the mundane issues that can frustrate any project, like communication breakdowns and project crises. These resources will help.

For Guests
These resources are available to everyone, no login required.
  • What to do when a team member doesn't do what they're supposed to do. A "Choose Your Own" Adventure
    Project Manager Brent has just thrown his hands in the air in disgust and is ready to throw in the towel. Team Member Stacy didn't come through. Again. She's just not doing what she's supposed to do, and Brent has had enough. Things just aren't getting done like they should. How will Brent react?
  • Ooo Shiny Syndrome
    You can't cure Ooo Shiny Syndrome alone, but you can inoculate yourself, and your team, with these techniques.
  • Are You Ready for Speed?
    Speed can be good. Speed gets things done, sometimes. Speed also has prerequisites. Ignore them and speed can kill. Before speeding up your effort, make sure the team and their environment can sustain it.
  • Seek the Light (Bulb)
    If you are looking for energy in your project team, an important source is found in insight. But what exactly is insight, and how do we encourage it?
  • Lost in Translation: Crossing Cultural Gaps in Project Management
    Is your project team globally challenged? Seven things you can do to build project relationships that transcend cultural differences (and significantly boost your chances of success).

    Find more team building articles on our Project Practitioners blog.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Pre-empt Conflict: How to Actively Prepare for, Engage, and Overcome Project Conflict
    This paper provides an overview of an active conflict management strategy, and a framework for early detection and resolution of project conflicts; both micro-conflict -- defined as conflict that occurs between individuals or within a team -- and macro-conflict which occurs between the team and key stakeholders or external forces.
  • Tools for Teams: Beyond the Email Bottleneck
    The spec you're supposed to review has gone missing; there are three different versions of the project plan floating around and the remote team doesn't have any of them. Clearly, email is not enough. It's time to take the tools management process seriously.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
Other Options



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