Good news. You've got the green light for your project. Now you need to build your project team.
How can you hire team members who are experienced, motivated, dependable and committed? Professionals who will keep your project on scope, on time and on budget? Problem solvers who can mitigate risk, adapt to changes, and ensure success?
We spoke with Practice Managers from Yoh’s Specialty Practices division – Peter Melomo of our Software Engineering Practice, Mitch Fass of our ERP & Cloud Solutions Practice, Kim Johnson of our Creative & Marketing Staffing Practice and Rick Kohlhepp of our Validation, Quality & Compliance Practice.They gave us the perfect process for building the perfect project team.
4 key TIPS for building the perfect project team
1. Create a Solid Project Plan
Before building a team, you need to create a solid project plan that thoroughly outlines the need and scope of the project. What are your goals? Timeline? Budget? Brand message? Look and feel? Expected results?
A successful project begins with the end result in mind, so make sure to:
- Define the specific business goals/objectives, stakeholders, deliverables, key dates and budget
- Use a Project Management process to track progress, keep to the timeline and communicate status, issues and results
- Determine the number and type of resources required and for how long – carefully consider skills, level of experience, certifications and other qualifications for the Project Manager, project team or partners you use
- Create a communication program that is suited to the project and your firm’s culture
- Determine the specific brand message/voice/tone/look and feel you need to follow
- Gain learning from previous projects and consider your biggest challenges, risks, technologies, platforms. What’s worked before? What hasn’t?
2. Align the Resources and Team Structure to Support Your Project Plan
Once you receive approval on the project plan, it’s time to define your resources and team structure.
First things first: select a stellar Project Manager who can lead and inspire your team, lay out the project deliverables and key milestones, monitor progress, mitigate risks, solve problems, escalate issues and keep the project on-track in terms of the overall objective, timeline and budget.
Then build a dedicated team to provide steady project support.
When crafting your team requirements, consider:
- What is the structure of the team?
- Who will manage the project?
- How many resources do you need? For how long?
- What type of skills, relevant experience and certifications are required?
- How will you ensure your team is engaged and motivated to complete the project?
- Do you have talent in-house or will you need to supplement your team?
- Who will recruit, qualify, interview and hire the team?
- What is the evaluation criteria to determine if the candidate is a solid fit for your technical and cultural environment?
- How will you address any staff departures – backfill, knowledge transfer, etc.?
3. Hire the Best Talent to Build a Cohesive Project Team
You’ve determined how many resources you need, what they need to do, and what skills they should have.
Now, how do you find the right talent? Will you go it alone? Outsource the project to a solutions provider? Or turn to a staffing firm to find resources?
Whichever option you select, the chemistry of the team members is critical for successful project management.
It’s important to select team members who are compatible with each other and with the project requirements.
And just as important as finding the right talent is, having that talent available when you need it – for a phase of the project or for a specific technology is key.
Here are other important factors in selecting talent for your team:
- Technical skills and certifications
- Communications skills (written and oral)
- Subject matter expertise and proven experience
- Aptitude for the type of work they will be doing
- Passion about what they do (a can-do attitude of “doing what it takes, to get the job done”)
- Cultural fit within your team and firm
4. Outsourcing Your Project Team
If you decide you can’t go it alone, a staffing firm can quickly find the best talent for you.
You can outsource the recruiting, screening and hiring to find one person, staff your team or outsource your entire project.
Why work with an outside firm?
Staffing firms have the resources, candidates, screening process and experience to help you hire effectively … so you can focus on building your project, not hiring your team.
Key reasons to let a staffing firm find talent for your team:
- Having a bench of experienced talent readily available
- Sourcing candidates for specific requirements, skills, certifications and experience
- Responding quickly to unplanned staffing needs
- Evaluating the talent to make sure they can get the job done, including technical and culture fit with the team and your firm
- Keeping the talent engaged and happy during the project, which is a key component to ensuring that they will stay for the entire project
- Monitoring and managing performance during the project
- Follow our blog for more tips on building the perfect project team.
About the Author: This blog was written by Diane Mammon, Vice President of Marketing at Starpoint Solutions, a Yoh company. Diane manages Starpoint's marketing, branding, social media and internal communications. She's happy to be a part of the Yoh team!