Supervisory Leadership

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How do I create an effective project team with a strong culture?

Putting together an effective project team with a strong culture starts with the folks you put on the team. They should be competent. They should be seen as competent. And they should have the time necessary to work productively on your project.

You should have a clear vision about what the project is supposed to do, what problem it should solve. One to two sentences should be plenty.

You have to give the team time to gel. That usually means a couple of meetings and lots of communication. You have to keep them together long enough to get the benefits of their bonding. That usually means at least 18 months.

You need to keep the team at a workable size. I suggest that the core team include no more than ten folks. You can have a larger group of commentators and experts who review the team's work, but the team itself should stay relatively small.

That hits the organizational issues. What about building a strong culture on your team? Here are some tips.

  • Pay attention to what's important. Have a clear vision. Restate it often.
  • Reward what you want to continue.
  • Punish what you want to stop.
  • Be fair. Consequences should match up with performance.
  • Be ruthless about eliminating non-contributors.


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