Project Planning in Teams

Project planning in teams is being used more and more each day. Teams are now being incorporated in schools and the workforce. There has been success in using teams and that has helped for it to be used

more and more. The key role of teams is for project planning and having a good outcome. The success of using teams for all of the project planning has helped companies and schools use the skills people have to meet production deadlines. There are many ways of project planning in teams but we will look at only a few and how they are helpful to reaching success. Definition of Project Planning in Teams
Project planning in teams can also be defined as “Project management is the coordination of
your work and that of others such that organizational objectives can be achieved while meeting time,
budget, and quality standards of expectations.” as mentioned in The McGraw-Hill Companies, DeJanesz-Dowd-Schmeider, (2001, p 350). Project planning in teams is successful if it is planed accordingly and considering any roadblocks to meet deadlines. When working project planning in teams good organization and communication is important so everyone is working towards the same goal. Consider the knowledge, abilities and skills when forming the teams so the planning of the project can be easier. Team managers and members need to discuss the project before planning how to work it. Using the technology to keep in touch and make sure the project is working and the deadlines are being met.Project planning in teams is based on communication and organization for a good outcome. Schools and companies have started to use teams for special projects; usually leaving the planning of the project to a team leader. Project planning in teams has become a great tool in schools and workforce as indicated in The McGraw-Hill Companies, DeJanesz-Dowd-Schmeider, (2001, p 351). Both schools and companies have learned that people are more productive and beneficial in teams during project planning. When initiating project planning in teams make sure you know the information and the goals to achieve it.

Members of project planning in teams
When planning a project in teams we have to consider the main members and analyze how to form the team so we can complete the project successfully. Knowing all of the information of the project will help you come up with a good team. Team members need to communicate effectively so there can be, as close as possible, a perfect team. The team is composed by two key members which is the team manger and the rest of the team members. These members need to posses the ability to work together.

Team manager
The team manager is an important role in the project planning since they coordinate all aspects of the teams such as, determine the beginning of the project and organize the rules for it. When considering team members to be managers we should consider the following as indicated by Garris, Leah B (2007) “Good communication and listening skills, with the ability to ask open-ended questions.”. Team managers need to be good organizers so they have all the material to begin the project planning and be able to explain it to all of the other team members. The managers should have a people person personality since they will sometimes serve as mediators. A good team manger is the beginning to any perfect project.

Team members
A good team consists of people that are willing to communicate and work well with others. Good team members as indicated in the study conducted by Weems-Landingham, Velvet (2004), “perceived abilities to plan and coordinate activities, tasks, and information” (Ch 2). As part of a team the members need to follow the project plan and communicate so they can all be working towards the same objective. The first main ability a team member should have is good communication skills so they can communicate well with the other members. If a team member is not willing to do their part in the project planning the outcome will not be successful (Weems-Landingham, Velvet, 2004).

Steps for Project Planning in Teams
There are various steps in project planning that are beneficial when working in teams. Two of
these steps have been known to be good tools for success in projects. The way these steps are applied
are different but the over all outcome that the teams are striving for is to have a successful project.
Some companies are using these steps to plan there projects. Knowing the steps of pre-project and the
after-project that helps us work more efficiently and helps us review the outcome of the project.

Pre-Project planning
This step is important because it helps you gather all of the information you need to have when project planning in teams. Some of the information that is needed for the team to begin their work is budgeting, scheduling, financing and decision making; all members need to know the specifics to have a good outcome. The one process that is essential is backscheduling and involves looking backwards from target date, beginning with your goal or objective and then plotting out the means to achieve it as mentioned in The McGraw-Hill Companies, DeJanesz-Dowd-Schmeider, (2001, p 355). Pre-projecting is helpful if you do not procrastinate. The team needs to be organized and stay in communication constantly so there is success.

After Project planning.
This step is good since it helps you determine if the steps taken helped the team reach the goal in a timely manner and with in the guidelines that were implemented. This is also a good tool to help you avoid using steps that were not beneficial and drifted the team off target. This is also a good way to determine if the rules that were used cause conflicts with in the team members. This helps determine if there was a lack of or inadequate measurement of the project management process, with a
focus on the measurement of outcomes eliminat[ing] the capability of the project team to make timely
and cost-effective midcourse corrections as indicated in the study of Uday-Riley, Marcey (2006). This will help determine where the weakness and attributes of the team were.

Different Ways of Project Planning in teams
With the advances of technology today we now have two ways of project planning in teams
which consist in using the traditional way and the virtual way. Both in traditional and virtual ways the communication among team members is essential. Both the traditional way and the virtual way
indicates that the overall result is to have success in every project planning tasks that is given to the
teams. Whether using the traditional or virtual way the team members should follow the five stages of
Tuckman’s model as explained in The McGraw-Hill Companies, Kreinter-Kinicki (2003 Ch12 P 414) which
are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning so any changes done during the project’s
duration can run smoothly.

Traditional Way
This way is used when team members have met and work directly work with each other. Schools that use the method of teaming students use this way in order for project planning to be discuss in the daily and weekly events. Small companies us the traditional way so members can communicate openly during meeting. The element this way brings is that it is a more personal way of planning and performing projects as a team. By meeting and interacting directly and indirectly with each other the team members seem to be more willing to incorporate the Tuckman’s model in project planning.

Virtual Way
This way is the way some companies and schools use to analyze the planning of a project before asking a team to use it. Some ways of using the virtual way is to request surveys and questionnaires for project planning in teams. Large corporations use this method when opening branches in other cities and counties. These companies are using what they have learned has worked from their main branch to start the project planning in any other. In the study by Delisle, Connie Louise Gail (2002) said that “Virtual ways of organizing and working continue to generate interest globally in academic and business communities”(p7). An example of virtual way being implemented is when you work for a large company you can be part of a team but never meet.

Conclusion
In order for success to happen in project planning in teams the main key is to maintain good
communication always. Planning the project well consist of having a good team leader and team
members, knowing the project and knowing if surveys and questionnaires have been done on the
project presented. Having team members that know what the project consist of will be more determine
to work towards the same goal and meet deadlines. Team members need to stay organized and focus
when planning projects. Project planning in teams have become a way of life.

References
The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2001. Project Management (Chapter 17). DeJanasz-Dowd-Schmeider
(Interpersonal Skills in Organizations: IV Group Skills Understanding and Working in Teams)
The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2003. Group Dynamics (Chapter12). Kreinter-Kinicki (Organizational
Behavior Sixth Edition: III Group and Social Processes)
Delisle, Connie Louise Gail, Ph D., University of Calgary (Canada), 2001. Success and Communication in
virtual project team. Dissertation. (PG 7). Retrieved June 2002, from ProQuest database.
Garris, Leah B. Building. Cedar Rapids: Apr 2007. Building the Perfect Project Team. Periodicals. Vol. 101
Iss. 4, 7. Retrieved Apr 2007, from ProQuest database.
Uday-Riley, Marey. Performance Improvement. Silver Spring: Jul 2006. Eight Critical Steps to Improve
Workplace Performing with Cross-Cultural Teams. Periodicals. Vol. 45, Iss. 6; 2. Retrieved Jul
2006, from ProQuest database.
Weems-Landingham, Velvet, Ph D., Case Western Reserve University. 2004, The role of project manager
and team member knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in distinguishing virtual project team
performance outcomes. Dissertation. 143. Retrieved Jul 2004, from ProQuest database.

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