If a modern project is going to be a success, it requires a stellar team of individual leaders.
It requires people who can manage their own tasks, hold themselves accountable to deadlines, and hit their own goals — without micromanaging and with a visible, shared workflow.
Communication becomes more about collaborating and making projects better rather than obeying orders and a strict set of rules at the office.
Since everyone has a role to play, there’s no time to feel bored. With these types of team dynamics, people feel seen.
This is the dream. One which we can help you reach.
In this article, we’re going to cover exactly what a project team is, the important roles within one, and tools and tips to help you build a happy, productive team.
What is a project team?
A project team is a group of individuals who work together to complete the tasks required to finish a project.
What do project teams do?
In short, project teams work on projects!
The day to day activities of each project team member might vary, but project team responsibilities typically include:
- Completing tasks assigned to them.
- Attending team meetings as required.
- Providing reports to team leaders.
- Liaising with each stakeholder.
- Working collaboratively with other team members.
What roles do project teams have, and what do they do?
The roles on a project team will vary based on a variety of factors, including your industry, company, client, project, and project methodology.
Let’s look at some typical roles for each type of project methodology:
Waterfall project team roles
The immediate project team typically consists of:
- Project manager: the PM heads up the project, keeps everyone in line and on track, and manages any unexpected developments.
- Project team members: the technical experts who do the actual work (design, production, testing, etc.).
Some larger teams will also include:
- Project planner: a project planner assists the project manager on larger undertakings. They plan, track, and estimate costs. The planner creates the initial project plan, and helps the PM with team management.
- Project administrator: an administrator typically reports to the project manager and helps manage daily admin functions. This might include collecting and reporting on project data, providing status updates, and coordinating team meetings.
You may also have separate individuals underneath the PM or planner responsible for different areas of project management, such as a project scheduler, cost controller, risk coordinator, etc.
Agile project team roles
Agile teams consist of 3 main roles:
- Product owner: the product owner is usually someone from marketing or product management, and is one of the main users of the system. This isn’t a job title in itself, but rather a project role. The product owner needs to understand the customer’s needs better than anyone else to give your team a bearing.
- Team lead (Scrum Master in Scrum-based teams): the lead isn’t a manager necessarily, as the benefit of Agile-based workflows is that teams share responsibility and work together. The team lead may be responsible for keeping the Sprint moving, keeping everyone focused, and reinforcing Agile values. They’re often more of a coach than a boss.
- Agile team member: team members have direct ownership over their tasks and essentially self-manage throughout the process.
This is probably all you need for smaller projects, but larger corporate enterprises often involve a lot more players and require a few extra roles to keep the wheels turning.
- Agile coach: the Agile framework is a learning curve in itself, so to help prevent this holding back projects, an Agile coach may be employed to reinforce Agile values and help team members adapt.
- Integrator: larger projects often involve several different teams. Integrators are responsible for an entire project or product and aim to optimize collaboration between teams.
- Independent tester: testers are often used in the software industry and test a product for bugs, defects or other quality issues before it’s released to the market. Since they’re only involved in testing product iterations, they’re often not part of the immediate Agile team.
Then, you’ve got your other project stakeholders.
For both Waterfall and Agile, these roles typically include:
- Project sponsor: the sponsor sits a level above the project manager or product owner and is usually a senior member of the company’s leadership team. They don’t manage day-to-day project operations, but instead oversee the whole project and often work directly with the PM to ensure its success.
- Client/customer: not all projects are internal. Often, there is a client who has requested the project in the first place. Depending on their work style, they may be more hands-on or allow a project team to do their thing and ask for only important updates.
- Company executives: not all projects involve company executives directly, but they often require a high-level understanding of project operations.
How to build a successful project teamThe best project teams work well together. They’re transparent, engaged, creative, honest with feedback, and accountable to themselves.
They feel ownership of the project, rather than their individual role within it.
This creates a culture of success — a small team of like-minded and enthusiastic people working together.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
So, how do you build a team like this?
Hire and train intelligently
This is especially true for the Agile project team, which needs team members who can work independently.
Hiring and onboarding are 2 processes that always take longer than expected. Start early, determine your requirements, and don’t negotiate with yourself on them.
The worst thing you can do is hire to fill a gap instead of hiring for the right expertise.
Build a culture of transparency
Non-transparent workplaces ultimately foster a lack of trust between team members.
Strong project management tools allow teams to see what is upcoming, as do shared project plans.
Transparency is not just a bottom down process, either.
Trust your people
Micro-managing ultimately slows projects down.
Provide clear instructions and let them get to it.
Remember: sometimes they’ll fail. That’s OK.
Help them to learn from the experience and you’ll have a better team for it.
Lead from the front
The old adage, “do as I say, not as I do,” just doesn’t work.
A team leader needs to demonstrate exactly what their teams need to do, or they’ll lose authority and buy-in.
If you want a system or platform used a specific way, then you need to follow that same process yourself.
The best tools for project teams
Designed for software development teams working within an Agile framework, Jira is a project and issue tracking tool for Atlassian.
You’ll find a whole bunch of Agile specific features, like Sprint Reports, Scrum boards, and Velocity charts, as well as Kanban and product development roadmaps.
Jira integrates with your code flagging tools, has over 3,000 pre-designed apps, and offers all kinds of APIs for building time-saving automation.
Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with monday.com, so your developers can use the tool they love while the rest of the business gets a platform designed for everyone (not just IT).
Slack is a workplace communication app built primarily around instant messaging functions.
With Slack, communication and collaboration for your project team is made a whole lot easier.
You can set up team-specific groups, or hashtags that are relevant to individual tasks.
There’s a robust search function for finding previous communications, and a new video conferencing feature for quick video chats when typing is getting tedious.
Oh, and Slack also integrates with monday.com. So you can keep all your team communications in the same place as all your other important project data.
Toggl Track helps teams track the time they spend on each task.
It’s decent for remote teams, as it gives project managers and team leads insight into the time spent by their team members and helps project planners manage costs.
If you’re billing your clients based on an hourly rate, then Toggl Track is the ideal tool to have on your project team.
And guess what? It’s also got a seamless monday.com integration. So your project plan, work updates, time tracking, and billing can all live in one happy place.
How can monday.com help project teams?
It should be obvious by now that monday.com is your ideal central hub where everything and everyone comes together.
When using monday.com, you can:
- Work on the run with iOS and Android apps.
- Get working with all the apps you already use, including 70+ Integrations
- Save the manual grunt work by building your own automation rules.
- Keep everything together by uploading files to project boards.
- Share boards with guests and key stakeholders,
- Protect sensitive information by setting user-specific permissions.
- Maintain a high-level view of project progress with unparalleled reporting.
- Create your own apps using the monday.com apps framework.
Take our team task template for example. It’s fully customizable, colorful, easy-to-use and yet captures everything your team needs to know about who’s working on what.
You can easily share progress updates, attach comments and files, send automatic notifications, track estimated and actual work time, juggle task prioritization, assign owners, request support, and more. The opportunities are endless.
Having a diverse team of leaders with unique skills and team collaboration leads to an effective project team.
It’s really that simple.
Teams need strong members that can stand alone and be team players.
Oh, wait? That sounds like us at monday.com.
It’s strong, reliable, and collaborative. Come see for yourself.