Any project manager dealing with a specific project needs to be able to put together a team that can handle the work and see the project through to the end. It may seem obvious, but putting a team together will depend upon the type of project, as each different brief requires different skills and levels of experience. In the IT industry, a technical team is a must as they can deal with the practicalities of installations and software while the manager oversees what is happening.
Planning the project
The first step to putting a technical team together is at the planning stage. The project manager needs to be able to work out what is going to be needed at each stage of the project so that he or she can ensure that the technical knowledge is on hand to deal with it. The roles that need to be filled cannot always be found in-house, particularly if the project involves specialist knowledge such as software development. IT recruitment agencies can be a big help when finding specialist staff, as can job boards for IT vacancies. IT recruitment consultants will be best placed to help find the relevant staff as they have knowledge of the industry and can find the best candidates quickly and easily.
It is important to look at each individual as the team is being built. They should not just be recruited for their skills and experience but for what they can bring to the team. Are they team players? Will they be able to work well with the others that have been recruited? Do they have additional skills that may come in useful at a later stage of the project?
Support and development
The technical team will need to be able to offer the right support as the project develops. Hiring technical staff who have worked as part of a project management team before is a good start as they will have knowledge of how the process works and will be better placed to hit the ground running. They will also want to be reassured that they have the right support from management; so having a good structure in place for the team is essential. The project manager will need to be able to respect the knowledge that the team has and take their recommendations seriously as they have been hired for their expertise.
Team members will need to be able to work together and while it is hard at the beginning when everybody is getting to know each other (particularly
if new staff have been recruited) the project manager can facilitate this by working alongside them as they do. A technical team will need to consist of strong characters who can take charge and at least make minor decisions in the absence of the project manager.
Choosing team members that have other qualities such as communication skills, people skills and good organisational skills is going to be essential if the project is to be a success. For a project manager, technologies are not the only important factor.