What people skills to consider when creating a team

Footballer figures on a subbuteo table

What have all the successful teams throughout history had in common?

The England Football Team 1966, Apollo 11 astronauts or Sir Edmund Hillary’s Mount Everest expedition team were all made up of individuals with different skills and experiences working towards a common goal.

Now our goals are slightly different in the business world to winning the World Cup or landing on the Moon, but we can take a lot from these successful teams.

Jonny ButlerSo, what do we mean by a “team?”

“A team is a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job or project.”.

The leader of the team must understand what the correct balance of personalities, skills and experiences are to reach the agreed goal. Establishing a successful team is not an easy task and it takes a while to integrate the mentality and culture amongst team members.

However, to put you on the right track, you combine the right mix of individuals. Each member of the team will showcase a set of unique values based on their own experiences when completing tasks but should always be working in line with the intentions of the team.

So, who do you need in a team?

  1. The Leader – An individual who is responsible for the team and is the sponsor who makes the final decisions.
  2. The Thinker – An individual who assesses the tasks in detail, breaks up the problem into sections and views the whole picture.
  3. The Out of the Boxer – An individual who takes that step back and identifies ways of achieving the goal using innovative methods.
  4. The Cautioner – An individual who highlights the risks, issues and considers the factors that may impact upon success and presents mitigations.
  5. The Schmoozer – An individual who builds the relationships with stakeholders, keeps morale high in the team and is the bridge between team members and the outside world.
  6. The Archiver – An individual who has been there, done it and is still wearing the T-shirt. Able to share their experiences and key lessons learned.
  7. The Risk Taker – An individual who is willing to step into the unknown and take on challenges to achieve greater benefits. Must have a relationship with “The Cautioner”.

Challenges can arise when the balance of the team makeup is not consistent with the objectives of the task. Finding the right mixture of the above team personas will determine whether success will be achieved.

PRINCE2® states that a project should have defined and agreed roles and responsibilities within an organization structure that engages the Business, User and Supplier Stakeholder interests.

It is your job, as team leader, to apply the team to the job in hand effectively. That is when the team delivers the end goal.

Read Jonny Butler's previous AXELOS Blog Post, The importance of planning in a project environment.

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24 Dec 2017 Sendoro Juma
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Hello Jonny Butler,

Thanks for the nice article
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