3 Proven Strategies to Build a Powerful Project Team

Learn 3 strategies to build a strong project team, tackle common challenges, and improve collaboration for project success.

Building a well-coordinated project team is not just a task. It’s a crucial challenge that every project manager must tackle. In today’s fast-paced business world, where project success hinges on collaboration and effective communication, the strength of your team is paramount. However, this process is often marred by various obstacles. Interpersonal conflicts, ambiguous roles, cultural differences, and motivation issues are just a few barriers that can hinder the creation of a well-coordinated team.

This article will examine the most common problems of creating a new project team. We will analyze how to counteract them effectively and what strategies are worth implementing to build a team that will work harmoniously and effectively. You’ll learn how important it is to match team members properly, how to create an atmosphere of trust and support, and what management techniques can help you succeed. We invite you to learn proven methods and tools to help you create a well-coordinated and effective project team and to see these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

Strategies for building a close-knit project team

One of the most common problems when building a project team is the lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities. The team is at the initial stage of cooperation, and if we do not clearly define who is responsible for what, who has what responsibility, and who does what, there is a risk of a competence conflict in the team.

Powerful Project Team

A competence conflict in a project team is when two or more team members have different opinions about who should perform a given task or how to perform it. Such a conflict can lead to:

  • Frustration and tension among team members;
  • Weakening communication and cooperation;
  • Delays in project implementation;
  • Low-quality software;
  • Open conflict between members of the project team.

We don’t want such a scenario at the initial stage of the project.

What can you do to avoid such a project situation?

Rest assured, some effective strategies and tools can help you navigate these challenges and build a well-coordinated team.

At the beginning, you can organize a Kick-Off meeting, where we will present, among other things:

  • Purpose and scope of the project;
  • Project roles and responsibilities;
  • Available resources and how to use them;
  • Potential risks and challenges in developing a risk management strategy;
  • Communication channels and procedures for cooperation between project team members.

As you can see, the project initiation meeting includes a place to present roles and responsibilities and ways of communication between project team members. After the presentation of roles and responsibilities, you can immediately move on to getting the project team members to know each other. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better and observe how the project team members react to each other.

However, a Kick-Off meeting may not be enough, especially for the initial project team building. Why? Mainly because, as humans, we have problems with understanding others, sometimes with concentration, and occasionally other reasons may arise that will result in someone not understanding their or someone else’s role in the project as we would like. For this reason, first of all, it is worth having project roles written down in a place accessible to all project team members and referring to these provisions if necessary. This will help maintain transparency in this area and increase the chances of good team collaboration.

How do you select project team members?

Sometimes, we get a “ready-made” project team to start a project, and sometimes, we must assemble the team ourselves. Even if the project team was created without our participation as a Project Manager, you must verify that you have all the necessary competencies in the team needed to achieve the project goal within the specified time and scope.

How can the project team be ensured that they are suitable for the intended purpose?

To start, identify the necessary skills that will be needed to achieve the goal of the project. In this aspect, the Project Manager’s experience implementing similar projects is essential. Based on experience, estimating what competencies will be needed in a given project is more accessible. However, if you are implementing a project in a field you have never encountered, check if the company has a knowledge base on implementing similar projects. Maybe you can talk to a Project Manager who has already led a similar project or has participated in implementing such a project.

In the worst case, when you do not know what competencies will be needed in a given project, start with the most apparent competencies, and you can manage the lack of competencies necessary for the project as part of risk management and react when such a risk arises or counteract the occurrence of such a risk in advance. More about Risk Management in Projects you can find here: IT Risk Management – Key Strategies Tools and Case Studies

Once you have defined the competencies needed to implement the project, all that remains is to recruit the right people for the project team. It can look different. Some organizations have specialists working in organizations; some are looking for specialists and hiring them for specific projects. In addition to the technical competencies of the people recruited for the project, paying attention to the candidates’ personality traits is essential.

It is known that every team needs someone who will motivate the team to work when they are no longer strong, someone who will pay attention to risks not seen by others, who will support those with less experience with technical knowledge, and pat others on the shoulder,  saying that tomorrow will be a better day.

Other personality traits that are often mentioned as those that have an impact on building a project team are:

  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Commitment and motivation;
  • Openness to different perspectives;
  • Ability to cope with stress;
  • Creativity and innovation;
  • Responsibility and reliability.

How do we create an atmosphere of trust in the project team?

Another common problem when creating a project team is lacking trust in other team members. This translates into the speed of the team’s work by double or even triple-checking the code developed by other team members, working by several people on the same task, or postponing the implementation of their functions because the chances that someone else will deliver their work on time are small.

So, how do you quickly build an atmosphere of trust in the team?

Start with yourself. Be authentic and honest in your actions and communication. Keep your promises and be consistent in your decisions. This will help you build credibility and trust in your project team members. You must have a stable personality and consistent actions as a project manager. If the project team members perceive you as a solid leader, this trust in you will involuntarily radiate to other people in the project team.

Show respect for each project team member and ensure that others also show respect for each other, even if they disagree on a particular topic. It should not matter at all.

Promote open communication and create a safe space for freely sharing ideas and risks. Make sure everyone has enough space to share their opinion. It’s surprising how often creating a space for accessible communication saves a project from disaster and risks that no one wants to communicate clearly.

Share your information and the reasons for your decisions with your project team. People like to know why things happen the way they do. Even if they disagree with a decision, building a solid project team requires that each decision is communicated along with the reason for making it and that the project team members have space to provide feedback on the received message.

Recognize the team’s contributions and successes. Show appreciation for a job well done both publicly and individually. Focused on achieving a goal, we tend to take progress in work for granted, which is not the case. This lack of progress is apparent and does not require any work. On the other hand, progress requires a lot of work, often more than we anticipated at the beginning, so it is worth appreciating everyone who contributed to achieving another milestone in the project.

Be ready to admit your mistake. There are no infallible people, and each of us makes mistakes. As a project manager, you must show your project team that you accept mistakes and respect that someone admitted to making them rather than hiding them. Perhaps you will have the impression that it would be good if this error did not occur, and you will probably be correct, but what would happen if the error was hidden?

If possible, organize team-building meetings during which project team members can get to know each other better. What do they do in their free time? What are their passions, views, and opinions? Even if the team is dispersed, you can always meet online to discuss what interests you. Everyone can prepare a short presentation and share their interests with others. This causes us to perceive other project team members more as people, which serves better cooperation and understanding.


Building a project team, especially in a dispersed environment, is a demanding element of project life. Still, as a Project Manager, you must make every effort to build a successful project team. I hope the tips and insights in this article help you. If you have any comments you would like to share; please use the comments sections for this purpose.

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