Establishing a Project Team

Even when you are using different development frameworks (agile, waterfall, scrum) the selection of team members is a critical activity, if you select the wrong people for your project team, your project will encounter problems. If you try to fit a square peg in a round hole by attempting to modify team members' behavior or reassign personnel who are a bad fit, it disrupts the cohesiveness of your team. This is so important with agile frameworks that are being implemented today, because the team’s structure is defined by small teams (6-8 members) co-location of team, multiple skill sets for each team member, and daily face to face communications, a bad team member who does not fit stands out like a sore thumb. It would always be nice to have a formal process and a rational approach to recruit team members, but as you know it does not always work out that way.
Sometimes employees are assigned to a project, and in the case of an agile framework they may become resentful.

They are resilient to change and agile is truly all about change. Some of the resentments include:

•A lack of confidence. (skill sets)
•Unfamiliarity with working in a team setting. (co-location)
•Inability to fulfill duties of the position because of low skill levels. (has not kept their skill sets up to date)
•Personality conflict. (sometimes people don’t get along)
•Unwillingness to be pulled away from current job duties. (does not want to learn something new)
•See project as a probable failure. (negative individuals)
As a scrummaster/project manager and you have the ability to create your own team, how do you proceed?

If you get the time start with a job analysis, a job analysis is a good starting point to assemble your team. You can use two documents that field results:


Job description: A written definition of a job and types of work performed.
Job specification: Identification of qualifications needed to effectively perform work identified in a job description.

As a scrummaster/project manager a job description could state that a team member is needed to create documents and deliver training to end users. Job specification for this position indicates that this team member must possess skill sets that begin with him having working knowledge of the software, be familiar with current training methodologies, and be able to present ideas clearly and concisely to teams of individuals. Using the analysis creates criteria for evaluating potential candidates; you can have a preliminary idea of your human resources needs. If this is a new application you will need to identify the need for a training specialist, a programmer and a product owner. (Bridge between business and users).

Try the technique of brainstorming potential team member job duties with your project team before finalizing a job specification. This makes it easier because after you know what you need for your project, it will make your job to recruit and evaluate candidates more efficient. After you determine requirements for project personnel, generate positive exposure and assemble your team. I know I make it sound easy and it never is, but those are a few steps to get your project off and running on the right foot.

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