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Overview: A Diagnostic Framework

Project Management Training Part 1

The word "team" is often used to describe the group of people working on a project. However, the technique of "team building" is rarely appropriate for use by project managers because the project team is constantly changing. Between arranging a team building event and running it, the team can change; after the event is over, the team may change again and there are new relationships that need to be formed.

The only team that isn't changing is likely to be the steering board, where conventional team building can be of great value. But for the rest of the project the manager has to use other techniques to win commitment to project goals.

A Diagnostic Framework

There are four areas in which a Project Manager needs to develop soft skills. Each of these differs according to scale (the number of people involved):

  • Individual: 1 person (ie: the project manager deals with one individual at a time)

  • Small team: typically, 6 to 8 people

  • Team islands: 2 or more sub-teams

  • Large Project: 20+ people

Each area requires a different set of tools and techniques in order to develop the most effective ways of working and gain cooperation with the project goals, eg:


Build relationships through trust and rapport, develop a strong network, win commitment to project goals and tasks, listen, use power appropriately, delegate and resolve conflicts

Small Teams

Resolve group conflicts and combat cynicism, manage team dynamics, maintain relationships between different personalities, develop good team communication

Build a consistent project culture based around common values, develop common processes and language, market the leadership, overcome communication difficulties

Large Projects

Identify and remove boundaries and markers, develop cross-team relationships, build common aims, experiences and identity, manage the environment

Team Islands


What are the main people issues you want to address on your project? It may help to consider the people issues in terms of the four areas above. That is, do your issues relate to:

  • One or more individuals?

  • The way a small team is working?

  • Relationships between sub-teams?

  • A lack of cohesion across the whole project?

The next article in this online course is:

Project Management Training:
Soft Skills Part 2: Building Trust and Rapport
Project Management Training: Soft Skills Tools

Project Management Training



Trust and Rapport


Winning Commitment


Using Power



Small Teams

Group Conflicts

Team Development

Managing Difference


Team Islands

In/Out Groups

Building the wider team

Large Projects

Project Culture

Putting it all together

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©2013 Team Technology. Further articles/resources that may be of interest include: Personality Test, Personality Type Descriptions, Myers Briggs overview, The Basics of Team Building, What Career is Right for Me?, and Career ideas.