Team Member Selection

Team membership selection is a key responsibility of the project manager, of crucial importance to the initial roll-out phase(s)of a project. As in any human organization, there will be pressures on a project manager to engage this or that individual from the company commissioning the project and-or from the companies contracted to execute the project. From the standpoint of a project manager, actual competence or qualification of these persons for any particu­lar position may be little more than the luck of the draw. A con­scientious project manager will anticipate and avoid this trap in favour of retaining sufficient authority and freedom to determine actual competence of a position candidate for himself/herself.

Usually, members of the project team will come from different disciplines and different locations, coming from different organiza­tions with different skills.

In the matrix organization model, the individual will have two direct managers: one whose responsibilities are technical and the other exercising an overall jurisdiction as project manager. In some cases, a team member will be assigned to different projects and work only part-time in your project.

When choosing team members, interview and select every one individually. Team members may have worked together previously or may know each other. Some may have not worked with you previously. Your responsibility is to "break the ice," and your challenge is to enable them to work together as one team.

The choice of individuals should be based on prior study of the experiences and qualifications of each, and not made dependent only or mainly on whether the individual is currently available. When selecting a team, you should ask yourself the following questions and be clear in answering each question:

• What is the experience related to the project?

• Does this individual have special skills suitable for the project?

• Does this individual have experience in similar projects?

• Has this individual ever worked in project teams before?

• Do s/he have technical information applicable to the requirements of the project?

• What is the department responsible for?

• Does he or she have a link with another project?

• When will this individual’s association with this project end?

• What is the ratio of currency and participation in the project?

• What is other work load does s/he share with another project?

• Is it possible to reduce the workload by the excess of the project?

• Will he or she work from the beginning of the project until the end?

• Does he or she have a commitment to another project?

• Do this individual deal easily with people?

• Is there a record of his or her performance during another project?

• Is he or she interested to join in teamwork?

• Is this individual orderly, and does he or she know how to manage time?

• Does he or she take responsibilities very seriously?

• Is this individual an excellent player in teamwork?

• Is his or her handling of time commensurate with the tasks?

• What is his or her feeling from the project manager instructions (happy, sad, angry,….)?

Sometimes the answers to those questions are not easy. To be certain of achieving success, it is necessary, however, that everyone is made aware of each individual’s importance for the project.

An individual who has joined the project should be capable of working in a teamwork environment. Also, the project manager should have confidence in good relations between the individuals. Selection should also take into account the targets to be achieved and the capacities required of the team in order that the work is completed properly whatever the time, budget or other constraints and pressures.