Thursday, August 30, 2018

Teams as its own Process Area

Team Management, in Version 6 of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOKv6), is buried in the Project Resource Management Knowledge Area under the Executing Process Group.

PMBOKv6 is 756 dense pages (not including the Agile Practice Guide). Of those pages, only 45 of them mention teams. Only 25 of those pages talk about teams in any detail.   That detail is mired in discussions of documentation inputs and outputs along with a brief exhortation to use good interpersonal skills.

Stakeholders get their own Knowledge Area. I would argue that they get TWO Knowledge Areas – if you also include Project Communications Management.

The Project Team is the group that makes the project actually happen.

So why do Teams get such short shrift?  Why is any concentration on teamwork buried in the Execution phase as one of many resources – like materials and money?

Even materials (Project Procurement Management) and money (Project Cost Management) get their own Knowledge Areas – along with being included in Project Resource Management.

So much of what we do these days requires team health and team resilience.

The project failures I have witnessed have been a result of dysfunctional project teams.

Successful projects (often in spite of everything else) have been a result of high-performing, highly resilient project teams.

We need to start paying more attention to team resilience and team health.

One way we can do that is by making Project Team Management a recognized knowledge center – separate and apart from Project Resource Management (which also includes materials, equipment, supplies, and facilities).

The processes I propose within Project Team Management :

  • Initiating Process Group – Identify Roles, Identify Team Members
  • Planning Process Group – Plan Team Management (including team management and performance norms), Estimate Assignments,
  • Execution Process Group – Acquire Team, Develop Team, Manage Team (These are already in the Execution Process Group for Project Resource Management)
  • Monitor Process Group – Monitor Team Performance, Monitor Team Resilience (and yes, I see these as two separate things that need to be monitored – because the team can perform well and be completely burned out)
  • Closing Process Group – Lessons Learned, Reassign Team

The people who help us make an idea real should be given the attention (and support) they deserve.


Thank you to Robb Smith, CEO of Integral Life, for his recommendation that team health, performance standards and norms should be built into the project charter.  I deeply appreciate his time and enjoyed our enlightening discussion last week.


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