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Answers To Questions On Chapter 6 (Leadership And Teamwork)

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 14th March 2015

Hi Paul – another set of answers!  With regard to the teamwork one I wasn’t sure if the Tuckman model was the best way to answer but it seemed appropriate?  Thanks,

State a definition of leadership.
State what is meant by the term situational leadership.
List and describe four ways in which a project manager may adapt their style to suit the circumstances.

Leadership, according to the APM Body of Knowledge 6th edition, is ……[need to learn quote!].

Situational leadership is when a leader recognises that different situations, and working with different people, call for different management or leadership styles. For example, while it may be appropriate to tell a new team member exactly what is required of them and why, while delegating a task in its entirety to a more experienced team matter who can work unsupervised.

Four ways in which a project manager may adapt their style depending on the circumstances are as follows:

  1. When working with a contractor, or a new and inexperienced team member it would be appropriate to tell them how to do the task you are asking them to undertake. The project manager should inform these people how to do the task in hand, why it is important and why it is being done in that way. This is the way to deal with new staff or contractors because, although they may be motivated to perform the task, they will not have the knowledge or experience to do s. The project manager must recognise the lack of these things and manage them appropriately to ensure they are motivated to perform in an effective way.
  2. A project manager will often be called on to sell their project. For example, when the project is initially starting up all team members must buy into the projects objectives and tasks to ensure they perform to the best of their abilities, therefore increasing the chance of the project’s success. While not focussing on the tasks involved at this point the project manager must sell the overall vision to galvanise the team’s support.
  3. When the project is in full flow a project manager will often be called upon to deal with experts in the relevant field. These experts will require some supervision, although not to quite the same extent as someone less experienced. The project manager must participate with these experts to encourage their input to and interaction with the project. The project manager must strike a balance between micro-managing experts and leaving them unsupervised – both of which can lead to de-motivation.
  4. A project manager is unable to do all of the component tasks of a project themselves and it is therefore important that they learn the art of delegation. Trusted, experienced team members can be delegated to when the task is suited to their skill set, thereby reducing the burden on the project manager.

List and describe five ways in which a project manager may seek to motivate their team

5 ways in which a project manager may seek to motivate their team are as follows:

  1. Giving the team short term, definite achievable goals.
  2. Recognising their input and expertise
  3. Giving people responsibilities
  4. Advancing their careers
  5. Individual and personal growth

Achievable goals – a project manager should ensure they set members of their team definite achievable goals. Successfully completing these goals will provide satisfaction to the team member and will maintain their motivation levels to keep working on the project’s ultimate aims under the project managers supervision. A project manager should always be clear about what they expect to ensure the team understand what is required; a lack of clarity on the goals a team member is working towards can lead to frustration and de-motivation.

Recognising team members input into the project and their expertise are another important motivator. It allows the team member to feel appreciated and valued for their work which will improve their confidence and motivation. A failure to recognise people’s contribution can lead to de-motivation and a more slapdash approach to work.

Delegating responsibility to those who are ready and able to handle it is another way of motivating your staff. Similarly to recognising abilities and contributions, delegating will increase motivation as a team member takes ownership of a given task. Where someone is accountable for a task they will be far more motivated to see it through to a successful conclusion and it is important for a project manager to recognise this and delegate accordingly.

The prospect of career advancement can also motivate people to do well. A project manager would recognise this and provide suitable opportunities for their team members to gain experience which will help advance their careers beyond the end of the project life cycle. If the team members can see this encouragement from the project manager they will be motivated to work for this advancement.

Encouraging personal growth is another way the project manager can motivate their team members. Learning new skills or knowledge as part of a project will keep the team members interest and motivation alive for the duration of the project and beyond and it is important that the project manager encourages this to motivate their team members.

In a project context explain what is meant by the term ‘teamwork’.
List and describe four distinct stages through which a team might develop.

A team is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. In the context of a project this is the project team, who each bring their knowledge and expertise to bear when working together to produce the project output.

According to Tuckman’s model of Team Development there are several stages through which a team’s development will go. The four main stages are:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing

Forming is the initial stage where the team are brought together. Often the individuals involved will not know one another and will not possess all the information they need about the project and it’s aims. During this phase team members will behave independently as they learn their roles, and will be quite guarded in their behaviour.

As the team develops it will evolve to Storming. Team members begin to develop an understanding of how they will work together to achieve the project’s aims. During this phase there will be some conflict and competition as team members seek to understand their roles and the roles of those around them. Team members will look to the project manager for guidance and ways of working together will be developed.

Once the team members become more accepting of each other they will move to the Norming stage and begin to deliver products. The team is coherent and fluid and working well together. However, during this stage there is a risk of complacency and group think where the identity of the group becomes more important than the project. This must be avoided. Successful projects can be completed by a ‘Norming’ team.

A team can be said to have developed in to a Performing team when they are a cohesive unit working well towards the common goal. This is the optimum developmental stage of a team although does not always occur. The team will provide creative solutions to problems and work exceptionally well together during this stage.