Project Management

6 Ways To Prevent Team Dysfunction

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Stress, surprises and communication failures—especially in a virtual environment—are ever-present threats to our project success. Unfortunately, project managers often have a blind spot.

However, PMs are constantly forming, joining and leaving teams to get our work done. We can’t treat people like robots and assume they will automatically work well together. Since project teams bring together people from different disciplines and organizations, a certain level of natural friction is natural.

Proactive Ways To Reduce Project Team Dysfunction
Eliminating project team conflict is probably impossible and unhealthy. Some amount of conflict and differences in perspective help us to avoid the curse of groupthink. In my view, it is more important to create an atmosphere that encourages everybody to contribute. How can we do this? Follow these tips…

1. Accelerate team trust through an early quick win. Without a win to celebrate together, it’s tough for a new project team to come together. The solution is straightforward: As you design the project schedule, look for a quick win for the project team to achieve in the first 30 days of the project.

While it would be ideal to achieve an early project milestone, that may not be possible in every case. If that is not feasible, find smaller wins to acknowledge.

2. Identify points of friction in the…

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