"The thing that motivates me is a very common form of motivation. And that is, with other folks counting on me, it's so easy to be motivated" - Jeff Bezos

One of the keys to a successful project is a motivated team. Often when the project is new, technology is exciting and new relationships are forged at the beginning of the project, which is how the teams get motivated. However, as teams start facing problems and as stress levels increase, the motivation dwindles in between the project and diminishes to a great extent by the end of the project. One of the important roles of a project manager is to create an environment in which team members can build high levels of motivation right from the beginning of the project and maintain it throughout. Team members usually look up to their project managers to stay motivated and resolve some of their complex issues and challenges.

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What Is a Project Team?

In most cases, meticulous planning, the skills and cooperation of a project team, and thorough planning lead to successful projects. Without each important team member, a project cannot proceed, but it is not always obvious who these individuals are or what functions they provide. 

5 Typical Project Team Roles

Project Manager

The successful completion of a project is primarily the responsibility of the project manager. Making sure the project meets its objectives within the allotted time frame and budget falls under the project manager's purview. While managing interactions with contributors and stakeholders, project managers ensure that projects receive enough resources.

Project Manager Responsibilities

The following are possible duties for a project manager:

  • Drawing out a project plan
  • Controlling outputs in line with the strategy
  • Finding project personnel Managing the project team
  • Establishing the project's methodology
  • Organizing the project's schedule and detailing each step
  • Task distribution among project team members
  • Interacting with senior management

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Project Team Member

Project team members are those who actively participate in one or more project phases. They could be internal employees or outside consultants who work on the project full- or part-time. The roles of project team members can vary depending on the project.

Project Team Member Responsibilities

The following are typical tasks given to project team members:

  • Assisting with the overall project goals
  • Completing each deliverable individually
  • Providing knowledge
  • Working together with users to determine and meet business needs
  • Recording the procedure

Project Sponsor

The project's sponsor serves as its leader and internal champion. They often belong to high management and are invested in the project's success. Sponsors of a project collaborate closely with the project manager. They contribute to high-level project planning and validate the project's goals. Along with approving the approvals required to take each project phase forward, they frequently assist in resolving disputes and removing impediments that arise during the project life cycle.

Project Sponsor Responsibilities

The duties of the project sponsor often consist of the following:

  • Taking important corporate choices for the project
  • The project's budget being approved
  • Ensuring resource availability
  • Distributing the project's objectives throughout the company

Executive Sponsor

Ideal candidates for the executive sponsor position are senior managers. With the management team, he or she is the project's outward champion and the final decision-maker, with final approval over all stages, deliverables, and project scope adjustments.

Executive Sponsor Responsibilities

Usually, the executive sponsor is in charge of:

  • Approving all project scope alterations
  • Giving extra money for scope changes
  • Approving project outputs
  • Having final authority over the project

Business Analyst

The business analyst identifies the requirements of a company and suggests improvements. They ensure that the project's goals meet current business challenges, improve performance, and bring value to the firm through taking part in project teams. Additionally, they could aid in maximizing the worth of the project deliverables.

Business Analyst Responsibilities

The business analyst's duties on a project team consist of:

  • Aiding in project definition
  • Obtaining requirements from users or business units
  • Technical and business requirements documentation
  • Confirming that the project deliverables adhere to the specifications
  • Testing solutions to confirm goals

But, as a project manager how can you motivate and sustain your people?
Here are a few landfills on how to motivate and sustain your team.

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5 Strategies to Motivate Project Teams 

As a project manager how can you motivate and sustain your people? Here are a few landfills on how to motivate and sustain your team.

1. Lead and Manage by Example

Team members are always watching their project managers closely. Therefore, as project manager you should always try and lead by example. You should be as honest, direct and transparent in your dealings as possible. You should also work hard, motivate others and have fun in your projects. This approach is quite contagious in projects and encourages other team members to do the same.

Quite recently, while working with David on an international volunteer project, I realized the true impact of leading and managing by example. While managing the project, David and his family were affected by hurricane Sandy. But, despite the challenges that he faced due to the hurricane, which included blackouts and shortage of food supplies, David went ahead and volunteered with other organizations to raise funds for the affected families in the area. This inspired other team members of the project to contribute willingly and execute the project with great motivation.

2. Be Considerate

Team members feel a sense of belonging and cultivate more trust in their employers when you are considerate towards them. Every individual feels the inherent need to be heard, understood and appreciated for their contributions. Small gestures such as a personal word with your team members or congratulatory e-mails could go a long way in showing that you genuinely care for them and that you respect their time and efforts.

Once, while managing a team of software developers, I came across a team member who was being noticed for his absenteeism and non-productive work. When I had a personal word with him, I realized that the root cause of his absenteeism was a high level of demotivation for not being recognized at work. However, I was able to motivate him by reducing his workload, assigning him into certain reskilling courses and sharing knowledge from subject-matter experts. This inculcated a deeper sense of belonging in him for the organization and for his team members and also enhanced the quality of his contributions.

3. Be Direct

As a project manager, you should be direct and open in your communications and should also be willing to deal with every of problem. If you and your team cannot resolve them, then you should escalate the issue to the next level to get it resolved.

This way you could gain the trust and respect of all the stakeholders including your team members. 

4. Be Positive

In spite of all challenges, project managers are expected to stay positive and motivate their team. Team members tend to look up to their project managers during the times of crisis. A negative attitude by the project manager could prove to be a disaster for the project.

While implementing a project based on Microsoft SharePoint at the client location, some of our major stakeholders felt that our team was not competent enough to deliver. However, despite all the challenges that we faced, me and my team remained focused and positive and finally managed to deliver the project within the desired schedule and budget. This not only turned around our project but also helped our organization rebuild its credibility with the client. 

5. Define Clear Expectations

You should set and define clear expectations from your team members. This could help you in dealing several issues including misunderstandings as you move ahead in your project. Team members know what is expected of them and it helps them in delivering better.

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How to Manage Project Teams Effectively?

In order to accomplish continual progress, you must inspire your staff. In the past, managers that set a good example for their staff and develop future leaders have excelled in the workplace. We'll examine in depth the 10 best methods for managing your team and becoming a pro at project management. The techniques are:

  • Ensure Balance Within the Team

Have you ever wondered why businesses spend so much time refining their hiring procedures? Nearly half of the work you have to perform is choosing the top candidates for the position. You must make sure that the team members you choose have the technical aptitude and personality traits necessary to meet the project's needs.

  • Ensure Visibility and Transparency

Project managers frequently have no control over the company's data-sharing rules. However, you must make sure that all team members have sufficient access to the relevant data and that the project is transparent.

  • Ensure Effective Communication Within the Team

No team ever completes a project on its own. They depend on various internal and environmental factors that can affect their success. You must interact with them frequently as a project manager to maintain their interest over the course of the project. Only excellent project management communication can accomplish this.

  • Foster a Culture of Collaboration

The majority of the tactics we're going through here complement one another. For instance, you cannot have an efficient communication strategy without transparency, and you cannot promote collaboration without communication. The entire procedure is a linked cycle.

  • Value Everyone’s Suggestion 

No one can possibly have all the ideas. Thus, it's best to practice debating your strategy with your team to increase your trust. Discussion fosters creativity and innovation. To streamline your procedures and raise the overall effectiveness of your team, both of these are crucial.

  • Establish Success Metrics and Reward Members Who Perform Well

A weak reward system and a lack of healthy competition might hinder the team's growth and decrease engagement. A system of rewards must be established to recognize the contributions of members who are progressing well.

  • Delegate Tasks to Train Future Leaders

You must ensure that your project team members have some experience as leaders because they will eventually become leaders themselves. You'll have to put your faith in their judgment and give them some leeway to change things up to accomplish that.

  • Manage Internal Conflicts

Conflict inevitably arises when different personalities coexist, particularly in newly established teams. Either you can handle it effectively or stoke the flames even more. The first guideline you must adhere to is never to side with anyone and lose neutrality. Second, organize your response in accordance with the circumstances.

  • Be Receptive to Feedback

In order to improve your leadership style, you should solicit feedback from your project team just like you do from your customers. Although it may seem like a natural talent, leadership needs to be further developed and tailored to the characteristics of your team.

  • Take Part in Regular Team Building Activities and Celebrations

Recognizing significant accomplishments and milestones with the rest of your project team is crucial. You need to participate actively in the festivities. Team members are inspired to do better in the future when significant accomplishments are celebrated. Additionally, you'll develop a personal connection with each member of your team, which will increase their sense of value and improve their performance.

Conclusion

Successful projects are a result of maintaining high standards in project management practices, which are usually executed in the right manner by trained or certified project managers, motivated teams and supporting sponsors. Project managers need a spectrum of skills including several hard and soft skills to survive and manage projects in a fiercely competitive world that exists today. However, it is the higher level business skills such as communication, stakeholder management, conflict resolution and the ability to motivate and sustain your team members that creates a difference between mediocre results and award-winning success. Project managers could consider using these strategies to motivate and sustain their teams.

About the Author

Eshna VermaEshna Verma

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT, and The Telegraph. She loves travelling and photography.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors