In project management, we talk a lot about “assigning resources” and “resource management.” It makes sense to think of them in this way – each member of your project team has a set of skills and amount of time available to do the job. But those “resources” are also people – which is why it’s important to go beyond just availability and skills when assigning resources to work on a project. Here are a few things to consider when choosing who will work on your project.
Team dynamics. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, there are people we work “better” with than others. Maybe you have shared values, similar work ethics, or just like the same TV shows. Teams that have a strong dynamic are often more effective, producing a higher quality of work faster. It’s also easier for a project manager to lead a team that has fewer disagreements and squabbles.
Workload. When assigning team members to work on a project, you should also consider what they already have on their plate. While a team member may be able to work overtime for a few weeks, if they’re consistently overloaded their quality of work suffers. Not only does this challenge their morale, it raises the chance that they’ll leave your company, costing you even more.
Developing leadership skills. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and improved. It applies to all levels and functions of your organization. Depending on the project, it can be valuable to assign team members to roles that allow them to learn and develop their leadership skills.
Training opportunities. Projects are great learning opportunities – not only for the company but also for the team members working on the project. In the same way that you can use projects as an opportunity to develop leadership skills with your project team members, projects can be an opportunity for lower-skilled members to improve their own skill-set. This assignment needs to be done judiciously, so as to not jeopardize your project delivery while still giving team members an opportunity to grow.