INTERPERSONAL SKILLS FOR PORTFOLIO, PROGRAM, AND PROJECT MANAGER
Date of Submission:
Interpersonal Skills for Portfolio, Program, and Project Manager
1. What criteria should be used to determine team effectiveness?
Being the manager of the virtual team for the first time in my career I have been overwhelmed by obtaining the support of the top management in transforming my endeavor of introducing a reward system and transforming it into a reality. To help ensure that my project succeeds, the top management has appointed a senior-level governance board to oversee the entire project’s progress. The governance board would be meeting me on a monthly basis and I am expected to consult with its members between meetings if any significant issues or risks arise. But unfortunately due to economic constraints I have been prevented from having direct interaction with my project team, which is made up of 25 members located on three different continents. As my company does not have a video conferencing system, and as most communication would be asynchronous except for occasional conference calls, I have to find out ways to keep my team members motivated and engaged in the project in a thorough manner. The virtual team has been established to complete a project which is the fifth highest priority in the organization’s portfolio management system, which has 55 different programs and projects, and that is the reason why it is receiving so much extensive attention from the management. The project has been launched to develop and deliver a new product within a couple of years, and the schedule is urgent because the company’s management wants to make sure that the product makes into the marketplace before the competitors release a similar product of their own. So it has become a sole responsibility for me to keep the team motivated to complete the project in a timely manner. Being the project manager I am eager to ensure success for my team and to keep them thoroughly engaged in the project. I want to keep them motivated and for doing so I have planned for a reward and appraisal program. A team-based reward and recognition system would work for me and the team in the most effective manner, and I have been obliged by the governance body by receiving the green signal in this regard. The governance body thinks that if the reward system is ultimately deemed beneficial, it could then be applied to other programs and projects in the organization as well. The supportiveness of the governance board has already motivated me to introduce the team-based reward system and now it is time for me to communicate the issue to the team members and to make them understand the importance of getting involved into such a process. It is to fulfill this objective that during the teleconference, I did use a nominal group technique by giving each team member an opportunity to respond with ideas about the reward and recognition system. I then asked by team to formulate a draft plan for the system and I had given one team member the responsibility of volunteering in respect of leading the effort. Now it is my responsibility to choose the criteria that should be used to determine my team’s effectiveness. It is now my duty to arrange how this team-based reward and recognition system should be structured. Moreover, it is now my responsibility to decide that who would determine how to administer the system – the team itself, the project manager, the project sponsor, or the governance board? Again, it is me who has to determine the advantages and disadvantages of involving each of groups listed above. Moreover, I will have to determine that if a team member disagrees with the approach, can he or she opt out of the system without fear of reprisal, or does everyone need to participate for the system to be effective.
It is important to establish criteria in order to evaluate any high performance team and such allows the team manager to ensure optimal productivity by setting expectations that are thoroughly appropriate. Such setting and meeting of criteria is directly related to improvement in team processes and in communicating properly the mission and vision of the project effectively to the team members. By assessing the team members on a regular basis the way for motivating them can be found out and this can also bring consistency in the level of performance of the team members. Hence, to set up the criteria I have planned to include certain specific evaluation processes like assessment of job-specific competencies, leadership competencies, employee morale and employee productivity (Duggan, 2018). To make it sure that the team is functioning at the highest level, I will have to measure each team member’s ability to complete the given job tasks. For this I have to conduct regular performance reviews but through telecommunication and thorough accessing and utilizing the electronic mailing system (as a mode of providing and receiving feedback). The assessment would be meant to ensure that each team member has the skills, knowledge and experience that are needed to perform on an optimal basis. I have planned to set up a questionnaire and distribute it through email so as to get input from each employee’s peers, superiors and subordinates (Duggan, 2018). This feedback would be used to create a development plan for both the short- and long-run. If it is found through the evaluation process that a team member is lacking some needed qualities then she would be encouraged to develop the needed qualities through proper training modes and through proper coaching and mentoring. In this regard high-performing team members and senior team members would be encouraged to coach or mentor the concerned employee who is lagging behind.
2. How should this team-based reward and recognition system be structured?
The team-based reward and recognition system would be structured in a specific manner. The team-based reward system would be in the form of an incentive system. I have planned for administering a team-based incentive plan that would initiate and encourage and reward exceptional levels of professional achievement. The incentive-oriented reward system would act as a motivator for the team members who are working collectively to accomplish the project’s objectives and goals. The objective of the team incentive-oriented reward system would be to encourage team goal setting, collaboration and teamwork (McQuerrey, 2018). The profit sharing process would be employed if needed in this case. Profit sharing “is a team-based incentive plan in which you pay your employees a percentage of your company’s overall profits. Profit sharing builds a sense of ownership among employees and encourages greater team performance levels” (McQuerrey, 2018). Team members would know that the better their performance, the greater are their chances to better the business’ financial picture so as to benefit themselves. And this would pave the way for obtaining potential cash rewards. I might also indulge in implementing the gain sharing plan. Gain sharing, just like profit-sharing is a team incentive plan in which employee groups are rewarded for measurable, non-financial achievements in some pre-establishes areas (McQuerrey, 2018). In this respect a bonus might come to play an important role. This type of incentive-based reward program usually motivates the team members to recognize their role in the process of continually moving the project forward to accomplish the key areas and objectives. I might also go for goal-based incentives in which the employees would be rewarded for reaching specific goals (McQuerrey, 2018). In this respect it must be noted that “The approach encourages teamwork and gives employees a firm target to aim for” (McQuerrey, 2018). The team would give collective effort and this would be beneficial for the project’s success in both the short- and long-run. Moreover, I might also go for a merit-based incentive-oriented reward system. I might plan to reward employee teams for effort, regardless of outcome (McQuerrey, 2018). It must be noted that “Because of the discretionary element of this type of incentive, it can be a challenge for employees to know what they aiming for or how they will know when their efforts or actions are viewed as “good enough” to merit reward” (McQuerrey, 2018).
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3. Who should determine how to administer the system—e.g., the team itself, the project manager, the project sponsor, the governance board? What are the advantages and disadvantages of involving each of groups listed?
It has been decided that the project manager would administer the system. This is primarily because; unlike the governance board, the project manager would frequently be in link with the project team and hence, she would gain the most opportunities to evaluate the team members’ individual performance. The team manager would be in a position to evaluate the performance of each member in a better way and she would also be in a good position to receive and provide feedback in a timely manner. The team itself should not be given the responsibility to determine the course of the process because this might entail and give rise to biasness in terms of judging and evaluating each team member’s actions, progress and performance. Hence, it is better to hand over the task to the team manager. Also, the governance board has less frequent chances of meeting or connecting with the team members and so it would not be possible for the governance board to receive and deliver feedback on a timely manner. And that is one primary reason why the team manager has been deemed suitable for the concerned position.
4. If a team member disagrees with the approach, can he or she opt out of the system without fear of reprisal, or does everyone need to participate for the system to be effective?
It must be noted that the reward and recognition program would only succeed if it becomes a team effort. Hence, it would be mandatory for each and every team member to participate in the said program. A team member might disagree with the approach but she cannot opt out of the system. She would be counseled in this respect and she would be coached and mentored in this respect if needed. If one team member is allowed leave the program then the trend could be followed by others, jeopardizing the entire reward and recognition system. Hence, in this reward and recognition program individual participation is a must and mandatory.
5. How often would a review of the system be conducted to ensure it’s effective? Who would conduct this review, and how would the review be done?
The team performance review would be conducted on a weekly basis and the team manager would be responsible to conduct the review. A 360 degree feedback procedure would be implemented to make the review and evaluation process a success. This has been deemed suitable as the review system would involve all the team members, the governance board, and the management and the team manager, and this would give the process a complete and cohesive structure that would motivate the employees even more to give their cent percent effort to the team’s progress and to the project’s success.
6. How would a subject matter expert who is part of the project for only two or three months be compensated by the reward and recognition system?
A subject matter expert who would be a part of the project for only two or three months would be compensated partially by the company’s remuneration rules and regulations and partially by through the reward and recognition program in specific.
7. What other problems could influence the development and implementation of this system?
As it has been discussed earlier, the void of video-conferencing system would affect the team’s performance to a certain degree. This would be a problem in terms of evaluating and assessing the team member’s performance on a daily basis. But this barrier would be overcome through the implementation of feedback processes that would be continued through the application of telecommunication and email-based exchanges.
Duggan, T. (2018). Evaluation Criteria for High Performance Teams. Chron. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/evaluation-criteria-high-performance-teams-57312.html
McQuerrey, L. (2018). Types of Team Based Incentive Plans. Chron. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/types-team-based-incentive-plans-59545.html