9.4 Manage Project Team

"The process of tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues and managing changes to optimize project performance."

The definition shown above in italics is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 9-11 Page 279

Manage Project Team - is all about:

  • Tracking and influencing team performance,
  • Providing feedback,
  • Managing conflict and resolving issues
  • Initiating changes to optimize project performance.

How do we do this:

  • Observation and conversation
  • Project performance appraisals
  • Conflict management
  • Issue log
  • Interpersonal skills

Conflict resolution - up to 20% of PM‟s time

Conflict resolution:

  • Collaborate/Problem Solve – achieving consensus and commitment through collaborating with others, digging to identify underlying concerns
  • Compromise/Reconcile – mutually acceptable solutions to (partially) satisfy both parties
  • Smooth/Accommodate – emphasise areas of agreement, not differences
  • Withdraw/Avoid – retreating, moving away from the problem, not addressing area of conflict
  • Force/Direct – power oriented mode, pursues own concerns at expense of others

Conflict and the Project Life Cycle

Project formation

  • Conflict over project priorities
  • Conflict over administrative procedures

Early project phases

  • Conflict over project priorities
  • Conflict over schedules

During main project

  • Conflict over schedules
  • Conflict over technical opinions and performance trade-offs

Towards the end of the project

  • Conflict over schedules.

Conflict Management Process

First Steps

  • Team members try to resolve the issue themselves first
  • PM facilitates a solution if they cannot


  • In private; collaborative approach; confront the problem; suggest compromise where necessary (solves the conflict partially/temporarily)
  • Get people to understand how to move forward and own actions
  • Get agreement on actions

Next Steps

  • If resolution has not worked, step up to using disciplinary action if they are not responsive

Remove from the team

  • If things are not working or not going to work

Exit from the organisation

  • Drastic step but it is sometimes necessary

Performance Appraisal

A system to appraise performance in the execution of role responsibilities:

  • Delivering positive and negative feedback – the appraisal sandwich.
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities.
  • Comparing performance to goals.
  • Discovering unknown or unresolved issues – these arise when managing a team
  • Establishing future goals.
  • Identifying training or development needs.

Leaders & Managers

Powers of the Project manager, from best to worst

  • Referent – power of an individual over the Team or Followers, based on a high level of identification with, admiration of, or respect for the powerholder/ leader
  • Expert – recognition for expertise
  • Reward – sweet tooth / bonus
  • Formal – power based on position
  • Penalty – enabling through punishment

Links to Other Processes

One output is a Change Request

  • Need to make changes to staffing profile
  • Need to outsource some work

Preventive actions – to ensure future performance is aligned with the PM plan


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