Project Management

Teamwork: Always the Most Important Requirement

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Teamwork is one of those things that can be hard to define, but we all know it when we see it. If you ask someone what teamwork is, they’ll probably talk about a group of people collaborating on something to achieve a common goal. But that’s a little generic, isn’t it?

It’s tough for a new project manager to know whether they have created an environment where good teamwork is occurring if that’s all they have to go on. So, let’s explore the concept in a little more detail.

All people, all situations
One of the misconceptions I see a lot in new project managers is the idea that teamwork is something that is only required some of the time. If there’s a problem that needs to be solved, then three or four people might come together to work through it and come up with a preferred way forward. Once that’s been agreed, then everyone will go back to their own work.

That’s not real teamwork. Effective teamwork should be happening all the time and involve everyone on the project. Even if an individual is working on a task that only involves them, they need to be considering what will happen downstream and what the people involved in that later work will need. That might impact how they go about doing the work, what information they convey as part of the handover, or the timing and scheduling of the work. At the very least, …


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