Project Team Structure and Selecting

Project team structure

Under the overall direction of a project manager, projects are usually carried out by a project team typically comprising the following:

  • client’s internal team (appropriate representatives)
  • project manager  (either  within  the  client’s  own  organisation  or  independently appointed)
  • design team: architects, structural/civil/mechanical and electrical (M&E) engineers and technology specialists
  • consultants covering  quantity  surveying,  development  surveying,  planning  and scheduling,  legal  issues,  valuation,  finance/leasing,  insurances,  design  audit, sustainability  and  energy  certification,  health  and  safety  and  environmental protection,  access  issues,  facilities  management,  highways/traffic  planning, construction management, and other specialisms
  • contractors, subcontractors and suppliers

The project team structure for project management. This structure is idealised and, in practice, there will be many variants depending on the nature of the project, the contractual arrangements, type of project management (external or in-house) involved, and above all, the client’s requirements. It should be one of the duties of the project manager to advise the client on the most appropriate project team structure for a particular project.

Effective project management must, at all times, fully embrace all provisions for quality assurance, time and financial control, health and safety, information exchange and environmental protection. These aspects are to be considered as incorporated and implied in all relevant activities presented in this Code of Practice.

Selecting the project team

When establishing a project team, many skills will be needed. During selection, the project manager should consider the following factors:

  • A commitment  by  the  project  team  to  clearly  defined  and  measurable  project objectives.
  • Firm duties of teamwork, with shared financial motivation to pursue those objectives. These should involve a general presumption to achieve ‘win-win’ solutions to problems which may arise during the course of the project. Issues such as leadership, communication and teamworking form key cornerstones of a successful project delivery.
  • The production of satisfactory evidence from each team member, to show that they can contribute effectively to the project objectives. This evidence may include a realistic schedule with appropriate allocation of contingencies against foreseeable risks, a financial plan and a demonstration of adequate resources.
  • When choosing each team member, as suggested in the Inception stage, special attention to be paid to their:

■ relevant experience

■ technical qualifications

■ appreciation of project objectives

■ level of available supporting resourcescreative/innovative ability

■ enthusiasm and commitment

■ positive team attitude

■ communication skills

  • Financial strength and core resource strength are also important.
  • Defining clear lines of communication between the respective project team members.
  • Promoting a  working  environment  that  encourages  an  interchange  of  ideas  by rewarding initiatives which ultimately benefit the project.
  • Undertaking regular performance appraisals for all project team members.
  • Ensuring that project team members are suitably located and that communication protocols have been established (particularly for electronic sharing of information) so as to facilitate regular contact with each other, as well as with their own organisations.
  • Defining clear areas of responsibility and lines of authority for each project team member, and communicating these within the team.
  • Identifying a suitable deputy for each team member, who will be sufficiently familiar with the project to be able to act as their replacement should the need arise.
  • Making provision for members of the project team to meet informally and socially, outside the work environment, on a regular basis.

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