The success of a project lies largely in the hands of the team executing it, so why not make sure those hands are exceptionally capable? Taking an “A Team” approach to building your project teams can not only help ensure the success of your current initiatives, but can also help cultivate and mature resources within your organization for recruitment into future endeavors.
Unfortunately, all too often organizations take the approach of simply throwing resources at a project as it suits the work schedule. When a new initiative arises, consider the following steps.
- Develop a clear understanding of the project goals and objectives. Considering the initiative in terms of its overall objective, rather than as a collection of tasks, can provide insights into the background and skills of resources that could contribute to its success.
- Review past initiatives that are similar to the current project, and the resources that were attached to them. If these resources are available, they should definitely be part of your final selection pool.
- From the Work Breakdown Structure, identify technical specialties needed to complete the work within the initiative.
- From your resource pool, start tallying available resources that have the necessary skills or background required for the tasks within the project.
- Now it’s time to separate the A Team from the B Squad. Dive deeper within the pool of available, technically-able resources you’ve assembled. Identify those with a history of excellent performance and solid teamwork skills. These are the must-have resources for your project – your A Team.
However, don’t entirely write off the B Squad. Part of the success of any project isn’t just the initiative itself, but also the improvement and honing of resources assigned to it. Projects, particularly tough projects, are how B Squad members can be promoted to the A Team.
In this case, you may want to include some B Squad members, under the direct supervision of high-performing resources. By providing a source of oversight and leadership, these resources can be cultivated for improved performance, and helping the organization to develop a healthy resource portfolio, as well as a productive project portfolio.