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5.3: Project Management and Team Dynamics

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    Project Management refers to the ways you, as a team, manage a project through delegating tasks and meeting deadlines. There are many ways to manage a project, but one of the key strategies for successfully managing a project is through building a foundation on teamwork and clearly communicating deadlines and tasks among all team members.

    Occasionally, teams have leadership roles. Other times within a team environment everyone is given the same type of status, and assumes the responsibilities most consistent with their position or role in the life of the project.

    Below I give a definition of what teamwork is, and also take time to discuss a couple different types of team dynamics that may play out during a project.


    As you note from the discussion above, teamwork is an important part of completing a project outlined within a proposal. Before I describe some key team dynamics and roles, I need to outline what a team is. A team is defined as a group of people with shared goals or objectives. This means that everyone on your team needs to be committed to the project you are outlining in your proposal.


    When one thinks of a team, it is typical to think of one person as a leader, however this doesn’t have to be the case. Many companies are embracing a style of project management called agile project management. An agile style of project management does not designate one person as a leader. Instead communication between everyone on the team, and the client for whom the proposal is written to, is emphasized. This means everyone carries an equal role within the team environment for carrying out the tasks of the project. Agile project management also requires that all team members openly communicate with one another and the client, which often requires regular meetings, emails, and calls. A regular, open line of communication is needed for all team members and the client if agile project management is to be successful.

    A more traditional view of team dynamics incorporates the roles of a leader, and some project management styles still use these traditional group dynamics. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve listed four roles people can take on during a team project below. Please realize that you may take on a couple of these roles, or perhaps even all of these roles, as you work on a collaborative project.

    1. Leader: A leader will work to define the project, if needed. A leader will also help delegate tasks, suggest deadlines, and take on other roles consistent with leadership. This person is typically seen as a project lead.
    2. Problematizer: The term problematizer describes an individual who will take time to ask questions about the project in order to overcome potential future problems, sometimes before the problems occur. They will often ask challenging questions that make team members think more deeply about a project. These types are also good at coming up with innovative strategies.
    3. Supporter: A supporter will often step in when a team member may not have completed their assigned tasks, or if someone needs to step in to take on extra workload. A supporter is necessary to any project since they also work to improve team morale.
    4. Negotiator:The negotiator will recognize conflict within a team structure and work to resolve that conflict.

    As noted above, these roles may not be static or prescribed. You may also find yourself at times acting as a leader on one project, whereas you take on the role of a supporter in another project. Your role on the team may likely correspond with your tasks on the project. In other words, if you are on expert on a large aspect of the project, you may be identified as having more of a leadership role than a supporting role.

    5.3: Project Management and Team Dynamics is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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