How to Build a Project Team

In today’s whiteboard session, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explores strategies for setting up a project team and team-building strategies throughout the project management lifecycle.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

How to Build a Project Team

In Review: How to Build a Project Team

Building teams is not a one-time event, as Jennifer said. As project managers you’re constantly team-building throughout the lifecycle of your project. And even with all the other work that you’re responsible for managing, team building is crucial for the ongoing success of your projects.

Jennifer offered these four tips:

  1. Know the difference between resources that are “hands on” and “hands off” (some people don’t need your hand-holding, while others really, really do!)
  2. Ease up and be less intense, not everything is life or death
  3. Invoke urgency when necessary, though, because some things are critical
  4. Make communicating and collaborating fun, simple and easy

Team building is one step in building a collaborative environment where your resources feel part of the process and feel free to share ideas, push back when necessary and help you to make the project successful.

Pro-Tip: Remember, people want to be acknowledged. They need to feel that they’re seen, valued and cared for, and you have to validate their work and know that they want to contribute to the project. So, find out what they need and help them thrive within the structure of your plan.

It’s important, too, that you realize that not all teams are the same and different teams require different approaches. For example, check out our Guide to Motivating Technical Teams to learn team-building strategies as applied to a particular type of team.

Thanks for watching!


Well today we’re talking about how to build a team and team build along the way. Because it’s not actually a onetime event, it’s something we need to continually do throughout the project. So you may ask yourself, why would I need to take the time to build the team after all we have all this work to be done?

Well there are benefits to building a team, building a healthy team. With a healthy team, you will get more collaboration among the team members that actually talking and sharing given ideas, pushing back and the team feeds off of that.

With more collaboration, we get better communication and with better communication we get higher project success. The research commonly shows that the lack of communication is one of the leading reasons for failed projects. So we want to avoid that. So we want to build a healthy team. So how do we do that?

Well one of the main things we need to know as a project manager is hands on hands off and when to be hands on, when to be hands off. Hands on when you may have a new member on the team maybe an inexperienced member on the team, someone who needs a little more guidance, so you let that individual know, “Hey I’m here. If you need anything, I’m here.” And you give them a little more direction on here’s how we do things on this project or here’s how I need you to do things for me. And you may show them the steps like step one, two, three, four.

Hands off is for more experienced people, more senior people on your team, experts on your team, let them know, “Hey I know you’ve got this and if you need anything you just let me know.” That will take you a long way to know the difference between these two.

Number two just ease up a little bit and may be less intense. There’s some project managers that everything is life and death and on a project not everything is life and death. If you relax a bit, ease up and be less intense, people can relax, have fun, and do more of these things. But there are times when we need to invoke an urgency. There are times where there are things that are critical that we need to really jump to get things done.

We also need to make communicating, collaborating, simple, fun and easy. So some of the ways we’re talking about being easy is like easy to follow a stream of actions. So different members of the team are working on different parts of the project and they interrelate with each other. So with the project management software tool we can better do that because we can set up little collaboration or discussion groups where people can log in and they can access it and contribute that way. Also easy to understand where you are in the project and next actions to take. Everyone on the project needs to keep up to date on that. So they are abreast of what’s happening.

So for a reminder for your team members that you’re trying to build a healthy team with, remember that people are people. And people want to be, they want to be acknowledged. They want to be seen. They want to be valued and cared for. They want to be validated and confirmed. If you treat people like people want to be treated that goes a long way for people to being able to want to contribute to the team.

And also, remember people really do want to contribute. If they’re on your project, they have skills, they have expertise. If you make it exciting, simple, fun, and easy then they want to get involved in and so find out how and where they contribute best, and help them thrive.

So if you need a project management software tool to help you build your team all along the way, then sign up for our software now at

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