Develop Project Team

With excerpts from my Project Management Novel, I will illustrate the many processes of the PMBOK.  Here is the thirty-sixth one: Develop Project Team. Use this map to see how this process fits into the scheme of processes.  Develop Project Team

Gwilym looked around the workshop. He had the crew of thirty men he had requested but the definition of men had been stretched to 12 year-old boys and 60 year-old men. “All right,” whispered Gwilym to Fred, “It’s time to develop the Project Team.”

The crew looked at the Gwilym and Fred expectantly. “Gentlemen!” began Gwilym. “Welcome to this team. We are about to embark on a great adventure. From the ruins of those four buildings over yonder we will raise to the skies a mighty tower; one that will stand a thousand years. We will work together and get to know each other very well by the end of this year. We will learn skills we never knew existed. We will walk away from this completed project knowing so much about building in general and building towers in particular that our skills will be in high demand throughout the kingdom. You are, indeed, fortunate fellows today.”

The men were smiling all around and congratulating each other. Gwilym continued.

“Some of you know each other; I know none of you. So let’s start with a team building activity. It’s called, ‘Two truths and a lie.’ You will introduce yourself to the team with your name and profession and then proceed to tell us three things about yourself. Things that we didn’t know about you. Two of them will be true, one false. Hopefully, many of them will be funny. Then we need to try and guess which one is the lie. We’ll raise our hands, displaying one, two or three fingers, indicating which ‘fact’ we believe to be a lie. Then you tell us, we all laugh and go to the next person. All clear?”

The men nodded enthusiastically. Gwilym said, “I’ll start. My name is Gwilym. I’m the Project Manager. I have traveled to the Holy Land. I received this scar,” showing his leg wound from the tower collapse, “from a charging boar that I speared to death after. I won the Celtic games championship in Brittany two months ago.”

The crew members all buzzed with interest, asking each other what they thought the lie was. Then Gwilym called them to order. “Which is the lie? One: Holy Land. Two: Wild Boar. Three: Celtic Champion. Raise your hands!”

There was pretty much an even split between the three choices and much hilarity when Gwilym revealed the truth about the ‘wild boar.’ They went around the room and, in less than an hour, had achieved a lot of good bonding as well as searing the names of each crew member into their memories by linking them with several stories.

Next Gwilym addressed the obvious lack of strong men in the group. “I see that this team has been assembled with care.” There was some sniggering at this. “But I am happy to have you all! We have a group of wise men here, men who have learned through their mistakes and from their masters, all there is to know about their professions!” Many of the old men nodded.

“And we have a group of very young men,” Gwilym continued. “Who haven’t learned bad habits yet, who are still young enough to listen to their elders without thinking they know it all!” There was much laughter at this remark.

“So I will team up the young with the old and the main work each of you will do over the course of this project is to transfer the wealth of knowledge from the old to the young. Training!”

“But who will move the heavy logs and blocks of stone?” asked one eager young 12 year-old.

“Certainly not you!” replied Gwilym. “Neither will the old men. We have levers and horses and pulleys and winches to do that work. We will use our brains. Now, to ensure that this knowledge is transferred properly, we will all move in together over the course of this project. Our first job will be to clear out this workshop to make it livable for all of us. I found out on my last tower project that co-location was the key to good team building. Let’s go, gentlemen!”

They spent the rest of the day mucking out the three floors of the workshop, making comfortable sleeping, eating and living space as well as a serviceable latrine with three seats, leading outside the walls. Gwilym, meanwhile, spent the afternoon making a careful copy of the charter onto his own sheet of papyrus and asked Fred to verify the copy. Then he took it with him to evening services and asked the priest to also verify the copy and attach his signature to the copy. Fred and Gwilym stayed with the crew that night.

The next morning, after Gwilym had explained the team’s ground rules, Fred ran the men through the project planning activities while Gwilym again braved the throne room.