9.3 Develop Project Team Process

Activities in the Develop Project Team process train, motivate and reward the project staff by implementing the applicable components of the staffing management plan.

Though not explicitly listed as an output, the goal of our actions in this process is to turn the work-group assembled from the previous process into a cohesive, high-performing team, which will result in greater productivity and better quality deliverables.

It’s the responsibility of the project manager and project management team to create and maintain an environment that fosters team development.

If project leaders are unable or unwilling to devote time to the activities in this process or they’re lacking the general management and interpersonal skills needed, the project team will not perform as efficiently as it could, affecting the cost and quality of the deliverables.

Project leaders can gauge how well the team is developing by conducting team performance assessments, which are formal and informal evaluations to determine the effectiveness of the team.

These assessments are not evaluating the performance of individuals on the team (those are conducted in the Manage Team Process), but of the team as a whole.

Develop Project Team Process Decomposition

Develop Project Team Process Decomposition

Develop Project Team Process: Inputs

  • Project staff assignments
    Project staff assignments are the people assigned to develop the project’s deliverables. As people are assigned to the project, their names are added to applicable project documents.
  • Project management plan
    The human resource plan describes the processes and methods that will be used to develop the team, including training, performance assessments, and recognition and rewards processes.
  • Resource calendars
    These are documents that identify when project resources are needed and expected to work on the project.

Develop Project Team Process: Tools and Techniques

  • Interpersonal skills
    Interpersonal skills are “people” skills, such as empathy, respectfulness, politeness, leading, and motivating.
    Good interpersonal skills reduce negative conflict.
  • Training
    Training activities improve the competencies of project team members and can involve formalized or informal training in areas such as technical skills and general management skills.
  • Team-building activities
    These activities improve the cohesiveness and commitment of the team and help build trust and respect among team members. Team-building activities can involve a mix of formal and informal methods.
  • Ground rules
    Ground rules are the behavioral expectations the team has for its members. Ground rules are established and enforced by the team itself.
  • Co-location
    Co-location is providing a common physical area for all or most of the team members. Co-location helps improve communication and facilitates team-building.
  • Recognition and rewards
    Recognition and rewards are the methods to reward desired behavior and discourage undesired behavior from the team members.

Develop Project Team Process: Outputs

  • Team performance assessments
    Team performance assessments measure the effectiveness of the overall team.
    These are really a measurement of how well the project management team is implementing the applicable components of the human resource plan.
  • Enterprise environmental factors updates
    Updates can include records for completed training, skill assessments, and other project documents.

Team Formation

Whenever the project staff is initially brought together, there is always a certain level of uncertainty and anxiety, even if many of the members have worked together before.

During these early stages, it’s important for the leader to facilitate face-to-face or virtual “spaces” where the project team and project leadership can interact.

Though not always feasible or possible, co-location, or giving the project team a common work area, help jump-start the team formation process.

But even if the team is wholly or partially separated, the leader can find technological means of creating a virtual, co-location “space” for the team to congregate, such as through social networking technologies.

Team Formation Stages:

Every group's evolution into a team is different, and its dynamics affect what paths it takes, but each team follows similar stages.

In 1965 and later in 1977, Bruce Tuckman provided a model that explained five stages of team development.

By understanding these stages, the project management team can better facilitate the group's progression through the stages and adjust its leadership styles to what is suitable for the group's current development stage.

Not every group will proceed through the stages in a linear sequence, and it's fairly common for a group to have occasional setbacks that will cause it to temporarily revert back to a prior stage.

Every group's evolution into a team is different, and its dynamics affect what paths it takes. In 1965 and later in 1977, Bruce Tuckman provided a model that explained five stages of team development.

By understanding these stages, the project management team can better facilitate the group's progression through the stages and adjust its leadership styles to what is suitable for the group's current development stage.

Not every group will proceed through the stages in a linear sequence, and it's fairly common for a group to have occasional setbacks that will cause it to temporarily revert back to a prior stage.


Characteristics: Group members may be shy or uncomfortable with each other, and everyone is usually on his or her best behavior.

From each individual's standpoint, they've been brought together by management and not because they share any common goals.​

Members are usually hesitant to speak openly of ideas or opinions.

Leadership: The leader needs to set clear, broad expectations for the group without specifically telling the group how to get there.

The leader should facilitate group interaction and development of trust, such as through project planning activities, and by establishing ground rules, goals, milestones, approaches, and objectives.

The leader needs to stay closely involved and set an example of expected and acceptable behavior.


Characteristics: Conflict is common as group members begin to express ideas and opinions but do not yet fully trust each other's motives.

Conflict may cause some group members to withdraw while it may make others hostile and vocal.

Some members may be apprehensive, anxious, or nervous about the group being able to meet its goals, and work progress is slow.

Leadership: This is the most difficult time for the team, so the leader needs to stay involved and facilitate healthy conflict resolution when needed.

It's very important for the leader to set an example of trust, tolerance, patience, and to remain realistically upbeat.

If ground rules aren't followed and the team doesn't correct the situation on its own, the leader should return the group back to a discussion on its ground rules.


Characteristics: The group begins to develop trust and grows comfortable with each other.

The first signs of community and interdependence are shown. Collaboration, rather than individual efforts, begins to show.

Motivation and productivity increase and a sense of common spirit appear.

Leadership: The leader needs to stay involved, but he or she should continue efforts to let the team begin holding itself accountable and making its own decisions.

The leader should move predominantly into a facilitator role. There are two things the leader needs to watch for:

  1. Cliques: While not always unhealthy, subgroups within the team can disrupt the whole team if they develop too much autonomy, power, or influence.
  2. Groupthink: Groups may slip into such a comfortable and trusting state that the members begin to think alike and stop questioning each other.
    This can lead to poor decisions or missed opportunities, which is a very dangerous state for the group. The leader may have to find healthy ways to de-normalize the team, such as by introducing new team members into the mix.


Characteristics: The team is performing at its highest and most productive levels, and it does so naturally and instinctively.

Members have a strong sense of reliance on each other and trust.

Ideas and opinions are openly shared, and as a result innovation and creativity in the team's approaches and solutions are evident.

Leadership: The team is self-directing, self-managing, and holding itself accountable.

The leader can focus on facilitation when needed, reward and recognize the team to maintain its motivation.


Characteristics: This fifth stage was added by Tuckman in 1977, and it’s when the team has accomplished its goals and is disbanding.

Some have also proposed a "transforming" stage in which the team identifies new goals to tackle and thereby transforms its goals and purpose.

Leadership: For the project management team, this stage will occur during phase project closure.

The leader needs to ensure team-formation lessons learned are documented and that recognition to the team is given.

Because the team has developed personal bonds, opportunities for socializing during the project closure should be provided.

Team Roles

Regardless of the person's project role or title, he or she adopts a predominant team role in different group situations. These team roles are usually a byproduct of the person’s skills and personality.

For example, one person may be especially good at keeping notes, so he's usually the one who produces meeting notes.

Another may be good at drawing quiet people into discussions, so she often takes it upon herself to encourage everyone to participate.

Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheets identified different team roles that positively or negatively impact group performance.

Having the group discuss team roles early, such as during the establishment of ground rules, can help make the team more self-aware of the positive and negative roles, and awareness is a necessary first step for the group to stop the negative behavior when it appears.

Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheets

Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheets

Benne and Sheets grouped these roles into three categories:

  1. Task Roles: Roles that are focused on accomplishing work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  2. Group Maintenance Roles: Social roles that are people or relationship oriented.
  3. Individual Roles: Roles that are driven by self-centered motives.

The individual roles are always detrimental to the functioning of the group because they are driven by self-seeking motives.

Though there are a few situations where the follower and devil's advocate roles may be helpful, these are usually viewed as negative roles.

In addition to recognizing and stopping negative behaviors, we want to recruit and encourage team members who can fill multiple, positive team roles as the situation demands.

Team Motivation

Motivated team members will perform better and produce higher quality work, so the project management team needs to make a concerted effort at planning, establishing, and maintaining a motivated team through recognition and rewards.

Motivational theories:

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory
  • Expectancy Theory
  • Achievement Theory

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow wanted to find out what drives human curiosity, and he studied what he identified as "exceptional" people, including Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglas, along with the top one percent of college students.

Maslow presented a hierarchy of deficiency needs that must be met in order for a person to reach his or her pinnacle.

In most cases, each lower need must be met before the next level of satisfaction can be achieved, and previously satisfied needs are no longer motivating factors for the person.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Using Maslow's hierarchy and our knowledge of the team member, we can tailor the recognition and rewards specifically to those factors that are most likely to motivate him or her:

  • Physiological: Food, water, air, shelter
  • Safety: Stability (political, environmental, financial), personal safety, health
  • Social: Friendship, community, family, intimacy
  • Esteem: Respect from others, respect for others, self-respect Self-actualization is when a person reaches a need for constant personal growth and improvement.
    To reach and continue self-actualization, Maslow found that two additional factors had to be present:
  • Cognitive stimulation: Intellectual stimulation, access to knowledge
  • Aesthetic stimulation: Access to imagery, beauty, and art

When these two factors are present, humans instinctively want to continually strive to be the best they can be, or in Maslow's own words, "What a man can be, he must be."

Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Also known as the Two Factor Theory, this theory was developed by psychologist

Frederick Herzberg from a study of 203 engineers and accountants, and he found that the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction are completely separate from the factors that motivate employees. Herzberg called these hygiene factors and motivating factors.

What Herzberg found is that adding hygiene factors may decrease job dissatisfaction but it will not motivate employees.

Workers are motivated only when job satisfaction is in place and when motivating factors are present, and though not always true, satisfied employees are generally more productive.

Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

As a practical example, providing additional benefit programs will not be a motivating factor to employees, but it will help prevent job dissatisfaction.

When the work is sufficiently challenging and they are recognized for their contributions, employees are motivated by a sense of achievement, ownership, and responsibility.

So to really motivate team members, we need to eliminate job dissatisfaction factors while also providing motivating factors, such as recognition and giving team members activities that are challenging and stimulating.

Expectancy Theory

The Expectancy Theory was proposed by Victor Vroom of the Yale School of Management, and he suggested that employees are really motivated by goals only when three beliefs are present:

  1. Valence: The person wants to achieve the goal.
  2. Expectancy: The person believes it's possible to attain the goal.
  3. Instrumentality: Instrumentality is a judgment the person makes about whether he or she believes that the reward will be given.
Expectancy Theory

Expectancy Theory

Only when all three elements are present will the reward create a psychological motivation for the person.

For managers, it means that we have to truly understand what a team member wants and values (valence); and, if the person needs help to reach the goal, provide resources and support for him or her to reach it (expectancy); and, we must deliver the reward as promised (instrumentality).

Achievement Theory

In his 1961 book "The Achieving Society", David McClelland outlined that both employees and managers are driven to succeed by a mix of motivational needs that he grouped into three broad categories:

  1. Achievement: Needs are driven by an internal and external sense of accomplishment, challenging goals, advancement, and feedback.
  2. Power: Needs are driven by a desire to be influential, make an impact, or have personal status, power, and prestige.
  3. Affiliation: Needs are driven by people-oriented relationships, such as wanting to be popular and well liked.

There is a mix of each of these needs in everyone, so to motivate someone well the reward must include the right elements to fulfill the person's mix of needs.

McClelland spent most of his efforts on the achievers, and he found they were driven by challenging but attainable goals and a sense of achievement.

Meeting those needs was much more important for them than material rewards.

McClelland also suggested that people driven by achievement needs were the ones who get the most results in an organization, and so they should be consistently encouraged through positive feedback and recognition of their efforts.

By keeping achievers engaged and motivated, McClelland says there's an added benefit that they set positive examples of success for others to follow, and this tends to create other achievers within the organization.


The purpose of training is to increase the competencies of the project team members.

Depending upon the type of project and the work involved, all or part of the team may need specialized training in safety, regulatory, or specialized technical skills in order for them to produce the project’s deliverables.

These training costs are usually absorbed by the organization and not the customer, so the need for training should be recognized early in the project, and the training needs budgeted for and planned for in the human resource management plan.

The training plan should outline how, when, and where the training will take place and who will be involved.

For in-house training, the plan will need to describe exactly what planning and training materials will be provided.

If applicable, the training plan should also include measurable competencies individuals should have at the completion of the training.

Project staffing assignments may also result in training needs when skill sets are deficient for the work required of the role, but training does not always have to be formalized to be effective as some of the best learning experiences can be through experienced team members mentoring and coaching

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