Recently the folks at Panorama Consulting wrote an article about who should be on a company’s digital transformation project management team. Included were the results of a study by two professors who came up with a clever way to think of the personality traits required of that team. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first…
They first noted that teams can run from a very few players to as many as 15 or so. Most, in our experience, have about 3 to 5 key members. That team will develop a project charter to assign responsibilities and resources, both internal and external, throughout the project. This steering committee decides which tasks can be handed off, and which (like final sign off on future-state business processes) cannot. The charter defines how decisions are made, and by whom.
The team also addresses the fact that while major transformation is occurring, the business must still go on. Day to day operations are ongoing, even as the new special project takes precedence, and senior managers need to determine how that’s going to work. Overtime? Suck it up? Hire temps? Wait for a slowdown in business? Whatever the answer, it must be addressed at the outset, and adhered to thereafter.
In their article Panorama notes that…
“Some organizations build their project team based on who they believe to be the smartest or most technically-skilled. While technical expertise and operational knowledge are important, communication skills are also valuable, especially when the project team is tasked with executing an organizational change management plan to engage and train employees.”
Professors Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats published a study, Functional Roles of Group Members, in which they identified key personality traits that contribute to strong teams. Here are five of those personality traits:
- The Cheerleader encourages other project team members to participate and recognizes them for their contributions. This role is useful for encouraging engagement on both the project team and throughout the organization.
- The Peacemaker helps project team members reach a consensus when compromise is necessary. Peacemakers focus on the success of the organization as a whole. This role is useful when defining and prioritizing business processes.
- The Sergeant-at-Arms ensures the project team meets deadlines and expectations while adhering to the organization’s core values. This role can help develop strong project controls and governance and gently remind team members of these guidelines.
- The Good-Humor Man relieves the tension and anxiety of digital transformation. The right amount of jest can lighten the mood and reenergize team members.
- The Contrarian is a critical thinker and innovator who is not afraid to share his/her opinion. This role can challenge project team members to think about the project from a people and process perspective instead of a technical perspective. The contrarian can also ensure that the project team preserves the organization’s competitive advantage during business process management.
Make sense for you? Worth thinking about, for sure.