Analysing Project Leadership and Team Building

Essay add: 2-11-2016, 20:17   /   Views: 110

The project is defined as "an Activity that has a beginning and an end which is carried out to achieve a particular purpose to a set quality within given time constraints and cost limits", by the Chartered management Institute.

In order to carry out the activity effectively and efficiently the project manager is required to possess the team building and leadership skills as the group of people involved in the project need to work like a team towards attainment of the common goal.

The report analyses the business project that has been performed recently by an event management company for the construction of the stage for a client to organize a dance reality show. The analysis is done on the reasons for the failure of the project to be completed within the given time schedule and cost budget with reference to the Team building and leadership skills required by the project manager in the success of the project.

The report discuses the various types of leadership skills required by the project manager in the process of team building and the models that helps to expedite the process of team building. The report also discusses the various methods of measuring the success of the team performance and the improve the performance by applying required leadership skills by the project manager.

The report finally analysis the reasons of the failure of the project in light of the team building requirement and needs in successful completion of the project and analyses how the application of the right type of team building and leadership skills by the project manager could have improved the results and management of the case study.


Project management is defined as the systematic approach using the set of principles and techniques to plan, design, implement and control the various activities of the project to achieve a successful result from the project in the form of satisfied customers, achievement of organizational goal, etc. The process involves management of project time schedule, cost, resources and the overall performance of the project to attain high quality, productivity and customer satisfaction at a lower cost (Chapman, 1997).

A successful project manager is the person with the skills to manage the all the four basic elements of the project being - the cost, the resources, time and the scope of the project (Reh, 2010). The project manager is required to posses the specialized skills, knowledge and experience to reduce the risk associated with the project and increase it possibilities of success. Thus it can be said that the project manager is required to assemble the efforts of the project team members to give the desired results. Here arises the need of project team building and leadership skills of the project manager. Team Building can be defined as a project focused process that builds and develops shared goals, interdependence, trust, commitment and accountability among team members.

The importance of team building and leadership skills of the project manager in the success of a project is explained with the reference to the project for an Event Management Company as defined below.

About the Project

The business project under consideration is the project for the Silver Leaf Events Ltd. The company provides the services of event and entertainment management to the clients specially for organizing the dance and entertainment shows. The present project under consideration was to build a stage set for a show to be held within the period of 4 months, in December. The show was a reality group dance show and was expecting to have the maximum number of 20 dancers on the stage at a time. The company had the period of 2.5 months (10 weeks) for the project to be completed, from September to November. The employees required by the company to construct the stage are the permanent employees of the company and the equipments required also belongs to the company. However in case the work is required to be performed at a far of location the comparison between the cost of transportation of equipments and labor and the contract for material and labor from the local supplier is made. The option with lower cost is preferred. The cost of material to be consumed in the construction will be purchased by the purchasing department of the company because the requirement changes according to the customer needs and so the company do not keep the stock of the same. The contract price for the project is fixed at 20% profit on the contract price. The price for the contract under review is $75,000.

Background, Sponsor & Problem:

The project for construction of new stage for a reality show is to be carried out for 'One Two Three Dance' show. The stage requires the capacity to bear about 20 dancers at time. The show is scheduled to be held in the month of December, this being the month of August, there are about four months. Since the location at which the stage is to be constructed is far from the companies site, the equipments required for the construction of the project will be taken on rentals from the local supplier.

Goals of the Project:

Thus the goals of the project can be illustrated as (Mathis, K.):

Finish the project with in time limit of three months

The stage should have the capacity to bear 20 dancers without any risk

The budget of the project is $60,000 ($75,000-20% * 75,000)

The project should provide satisfaction to the customer in terms of quality, size and any other specific requirements as and when given by the customer.

Project Plan: The planning for the current construction of the new stage project can be summarized as under:

Project Milestones Estimated time Estimated cost Uncertainty(Chance of delay)

Design the stage set 3 weeks $22,000 20% chance of 3 days

Fabricate stage set items 3 weeks $22,700 20% chance of 3 days

Assemble stage set 2 weeks $7,800 20% chance of 3 days

Engage in electrical work 1.5 weeks $7,000 10% chance of 0.5days

Final finishing 0.5 week $500


Resource requirements:

Design stage set -

1 designer @ $1,000/wk

Fabricate stage set items-

2 carpenters @ $1400/wk each

2 painters @ $1200/wk each

Assemble stage set

2 carpenters @ 1400/wk each

1 painter @ $1200/wk

Engage in electrical work

2 electricians @ $2,000/wk each

Materials :

Materials cost: $24,000

Rental :

Rent equipment (tools) @ $500/wk

WBS- and Resource Allocation with cost analysis:ActivityJob performedWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Total


Design Stage set

1 designer @2000 per week






Fabricate Stage Set items

2 carpenters @1400/wk each





2 painters @1200/wk each





Assemble Stage Set

2 carpenters @1400/wk each




1 painter @1200/wk




Engage in electrical work

2 Electricians @2,000/wk each





Finishing work



Materials cost






Rent equipment @200/wk








$3,500Total Budgeted Expenses$10,000$2,000$10,000$3,300$13,700$5,700$4,500$3,300$4,500$3,000$60,0003.6 Actual results of the Project:

The actual results of the project on completion were the delay in completion of the project by 1 week and the increase cost by $6,543. The analysis of the variance between the actual and planned schedule is as under:

 Start DatePlanned date of completionDate of completionPlanned daysActual daysPlanned costActual cost

Task 1








Task 2








Task 3








Task 4








Task 5








Total   7077$60,000$66,543

GANTT Chart:


The analysis shows that the cost of $1929 for task 4 was increased only on account of delay in the previous task that was not communicated to the electrical work team (Task 4) and the team did not took up other project for the time. The idle cost was added to the cost of the project.

Leadership of the Project:

Leadership of the project is the indispensable skill required by the project manager. As defined by Warren Bennis, "Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential" (Saladis, F., 2006).

A leader is person who has followers. Since project management is the skill of managing the activities of more than one resource to attain the same goals, it is necessary that the project manger acts as the team leader and the team follows the project manager. As defined by Fred Smith, ""A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can" (Schleier, C., 2006)

Leadership Roles of the project manager:

The effective leadership roles of the project manager can be classified into three groups and counted as 12 in umbers (Kotelnikow, V.). These are :

Visioning &Setting an Example

Create an inspiring and shared values

Lead change

Lead by Example

Demonstrate confidence

Empowering &Energizing

Inspire and Energize people

Empower people

Communicate openly

Listen, Support and help

Leading team

Involve everyone

Coach, bring out the best in your people

Encourage group discussion

Monitor progress, but don't micromanage

The team leader is required to influence the people of his team and work towards building the sustainable and flexible working relationships among the team members so that an effective working environment can be created (Bird, P., 2011). Team leading can be performed by the project manager by identifying the qualities and skills of the individual team members and allocate the work accordingly.

Division of team on the basis of groups of people:

The team can be divided into four groups based on the types of people involved in the team work. These groups are :

Analytical Types: The people those who value facts and value above all. They are the people are inclined towards accuracy, timeliness, logic and competency in their work. These people are reserved in relationships but are very much dedicated to their work.

Amiable types: These people are those who value more about relationships than the factual results of the work. They lack commitment in their work when forced to perform and may even resist to perform.

Expressive Types: These are the people who are motivated to perform by recognition and reward for the work performed by them. These people are generally high risk takers but lack commitment to plan and completion of the project.

Driver types: These are the result oriented people who plan, initiate and act to give the desired and clear results. They have the intention to move quickly and deliver the results.

Thus the project leader is required to identify the people falling in each group and provide them the working atmosphere that helps then to perform efficiently in combination with other team members. The misunderstanding of the nature of the team members results in conflicts, misunderstandings and poor relationships among them ultimately affecting the progress and quality of the project (Bird, P., 2011).

Team building is an not a onetime activity but it is ongoing process though out the life of the project. The changes in the life cycle of the project also change the requirement and needs of team building activities. The team development model is defined as four stage model by Dr Bruce Tuckman in 1965. The model explains that as the leadership style of the project manger should change as the team develop maturity and ability and established relationships among the team members.

The essential parameters of the team building

The minimum parameters that should be included in each stage of team building includes (Milosevic, D., 2003):

Critical Success Factors: These are the factors that are the most important for the project and their identification helps the team to perform effectively.

Decisions: The decisions made by the management, the team and the jointly by the management and the team should be defined clearly in terms of responsibilities of the individuals and time schedules.

Action Items: The actions that are required to be taken by the management and the team members should be clearly defined with the timelines.

Resources required: The resources include material and labor skills required. Their approval and timelines should be clearly defined.

Specific results: The outcomes of the project and each individual benchmark/milestone should be clearly understood and defined.

The two main objectives of a good team is to work on completing the tasks and managing processes. The difficulties are experienced by the team when the balance between the two objectives is broken (Mackin, D., 2007).

4.4 Four stage model for team building

The four stage model that helps in effective team building and team development as defined by Dr. Tuckman is depicted as under:

Source: (Milosevic, D.,2003 ):

Stage 1: Forming

The phase is the initiation phase when the project team meets for the first time and starts to work together. This is considered to be a stressful phase as every team member is uncomfortable with all new people specially if the project is new (Mackintosh, A.). In this stage the team members are communicated the goals and objectives of the project. The communication is generally one way being from the team leader to the team members. Since the group of persons has not yet formed a team and are just a collection of people having different functional backgrounds or may be different organizational backgrounds, the confusions and role ambiguities are bound to happen (Milosevic, D.,2003) . Thus the project manager is required to display the leadership style that is directive, guiding the team members in how to achieve the goals, strong image building, sharing of the vision and supervision. The team leader should help the team to develop the protocols to be followed by the team and encourage them to do likewise.

Stage 2: Storming

As and when the team proceeds and relationships are made the confusions arise regarding the roles and responsibilities of the team members and the goals of the project. Since the completion of the project requires cross functional team work, there are conflicts in the team due to the complexity of the processes and the required integration of work (Mackintosh, A.). Thus the team leader is required to posses the leadership skills that promote human relationships among the team members and build cross- functional interfaces. He is required to follow the mixture of "directive and relationship oriented leadership" and "selling style" (Milosevic, D.,2003) .

Stage 3: Norming

The stage is reached when every team member has understood his roles and the goals of the project are clear to all. The team has started to work and perform efficiently in this phase, however the concern in this phase is that the team ambers are not ready for any change in the project in any respect. Thus the role of team leader is to motivate the members to think innovatively and in new and different ways and to respond to the risk management changes. The project manger should continue the team building process in this stage so that the team is high performing (Mackin, D., 2007).

Stage 4: Performing Stage

In this stage the team is highly committed to achieve the desired goals of the project. The stage is known as the performing stage because the team has reached the self directed stage in the phase. The leadership in this evolves from trust, respect and credibility that the project leader has established till date. The project leader is required to balance the power and control in this phase which requires highly sophisticated management skills.

The use of the four stage model in team building can be made in any phase of the project life cycle however it is most beneficial when applied from the initiation phase of the project. The model helps the in early formation of the team and ultimately results in improvement of the overall performance of the project. Since the characteristics of the team changes as when the project proceeds the leadership required changes accordingly. The four stage model as discussed above is further supported by the Hershey and Blanchard's model of team leadership. The model is more precisely known as situational leadership model and defined the leadership skills that should be followed based upon the situation of the project and team.

HighPeople Oriented StyleMotivateSellLowdelegateTellLow….…………..Efficiency oriented style X…………….HighStage 4: Total IntegrationStage 3: IntegrationStage 2: Start UpStage 1: Formation

Leadership Style Versus team integration level (Milosevic, D.,2003)

4.5 Measuring Effectiveness Of The Team:

Another characteristic that is required by the team leader is to measure the team performance and effectiveness on the regular basis and accurately. The characteristics of the team are suppose to drive the project performance to a great level. The characteristics of a good performing team can be classified into four categories:

Work and Team structure

Communications and control

Team leadership

Attitude and values.

The measures of these characteristics provide the framework for benchmarking the performance of the team. Thus the teams which score high on the above characteristics are considered to be the efficient and high performing teams. It is the project manager leadership and team building skills that helps the team in achieving the high ratings. Thus the project leader should be aware of these characteristics and ensure that the team posses them optimally. The factors which affect and influence the team's characteristics and performed can be displayed as under:

Model for analyzing team performance (Cleland, D., & Ireland., L.,2006)

The strongest drivers and Briers to team's performance can be summarized as under:


Clear project plans and objectives

Good interpersonal relations and shared values

Good project leadership and credibility

Professional growth potential

Professionally interesting and stimulating

Project visibility and high priority

Proper technical direction and team leadership

Qualified, competent team personnel

Recognition of sense of accomplishment

Management involvement &support

Communication problems

Conflict among the team members or with other support organizations

Different outlooks, priorities perceived by the team members

Poor qualification of team/ project leader

Poor trust respect and credibility of team leader

Insufficient resources

Insufficient rewards

Lack of project challenge and interest

Lack of support from senior management, interest and involvement

Lack of commitment of the team members

Poor project team selection

Lack of good team leadership and power struggle among the team members

Source: (Cleland, D., & Ireland., L.,2006)

Thus it can be analyzed that the building of high performing teams is the leadership skill of the project manager. The increasing demand and competition is all the more increasing the need of the high performing teams.

Application of team building in the case study:

The various techniques available to improve the team building and various styles of leadership required by the project manager suggests that the leadership for a project is not a simple task and the project manager has to apply the theories and models provided by the researchers in order to improve the process of team building an expedite it. The lack of team building process could have been improved by identification of the types of people in the team and classifying them into the groups as defined by Bird, P. (2011). This would help the project manager in identifying the individual characteristics of the team members and apply the management techniques that would improve their efficiency and output. It is argued by Ruffin Veal (2004), that the project management and Leadership skills of the project manger are equal partners in the success of the project. He defined that, "While Leaders are people oriented, the mangers are task oriented. Leaders inspire, while the mangers organize". Thus a combination of the manager and the leader is necessary for successful completion of the project.

The manger is required to hold the responsibility for producing and maintaining the predictions and order for the project while the leaders are charged with the responsibility to produce the change effectively. The requirement to accomplish the goals of the project can be classified into four categories as under:

Creating the agenda of the project

Developing a team to perform on the agenda

Executing the agenda as per the plan

Evaluate the outcome with the expected and desired results

The leadership skills and requirement at each stage of the project can be identified as under:

ProcessLeadership ResponsibilityLeadership Function And Activity

Creating Agenda

Establish Direction: to develop the vision of the future and strategies to bring the change needed.

Objective is to establish direction for change to cope with the changing business needs

Developing a team

Aligning people: Communicate the project direction to ensure the teams understands and accepts the project direction, vision &strategies.

To get the team members in alignment with the vision and set of strategies.

Execution of the Agenda

Motivating and inspiring the people

To energize the people to overcome the obstacles and proceed towards the achievement of the vision.

Evaluation of the project

To maintain the degree of predictability

How successful and effectively the project is managed.

Thus while applying the team building and leadership skills to the case study as discussed above of the project to construct the stage for the reality show the following strategy can be followed:

Identify the types of groups of peoples involved, so that the manager can use the techniques to motivate them individually

Identify the essential parameters for team building, like the success factors, management decisions, actions to be taken and the resources required.

Start with the four categories of project implementation as defined by Veal (2004), to accomplish the goals of the project by creating the agenda, developing a team, Execution of the agenda, and finally evaluation of the project.

During the team building category of the project process apply the Dr. Tuckman's four stage model of team building and apply the leadership skills as required in each stage.

The Four stage model is supported by the integration level model of Hershey and Blanchard's model of team leadership. This will further help in identifying the leadership required at each level of the team integration.

Them measuring the performance of the team by identifying the drivers and barriers to the team. In this process the project manager is able to identify the bottlenecks in the performance by the team members.

Lastly he can evaluate the outcomes of the project to know how good manager he has been and what were the drawback that can be improved in future.

Thus the above set of processes can be applied to the present case study to analyze the drawbacks in the management of the project.

Conclusion & Recommendation

In the real world scenario of the business environment the increasing complexities of the business processes and the functional interdependencies and the continuous need for innovations it has become difficult for the team manger to posses all the knowledge, thus he has to depend largely upon the on the information and judgment of his team members in order to develop solutions of the complex problems. Thus the team are becoming more self directed. Under this situation it becomes more important for the project manager to posses team building and team leadership skills so that the goals and objectives of the project are not overlooked by the personal goals of the team members and the efforts of the team members can be directed towards the common goal (Cleland, D., & Ireland., L., 2006 ).

The process of team building has various stages in development starting from the initial meeting of the people and gradual understanding the goals and then reaching into the performing stage. Also as the project advances the requirement of the team activities also change with the project life cycle. Thus there is no one defined set of leadership and team building skills that is required by the project manager. The skills changes with the progress of the project and the integration level of the team.

In order to allow the team to perform well the project manager should identify the barriers to the performance of the team and remove them with his personal and professional skills. He should also measure the effectiveness of the team from time to time against the set parameters for benchmarking and evaluate the impact of the same on the progress of the project. Since the project is the result of the team work, it is necessary that all the members of the project work in coordination with each other, the lack in the coordination will give rise of confusion , lack of clarity in the roles and responsibilities and conflicts among the team members affecting the results and performance of the project. Since every individual is a unique person with individual qualities and weaknesses, and every project is a unique project, the project manager is to ensure that the strengths of each individual in displayed in the project and are coordinated with each other along with the specific requirement of each project.

Thus it can be concluded that the management of the project cannot be completed without the appropriate teambuilding and leadership skills of the project manager.

Recommendations to the project manager:

The analysis of the case study of the project for construction of the stage for the reality show reveals that the reason for the delay of the project can be attributed to the lack of effective team building and leadership skills of the project manager of the project

It can be observed that the delay in schedule was at task 2: fabrication of the stage can be attributed to the lack of coordination among the employees and the lack of commitment towards the goals of the project. Similarly the Task 3: Assembly of the stage is delayed by 3 days. The barriers of the performance of the team are the lack of commitment of the team members. The project leader could have avoided the delay had there been motivation and control over the activities of the team members. Since the task 2: was lying in the norming stage of the team building process, the problem the confusion in understanding the goals of the project and the responsibilities of each team member.

Task Three also lies in the same phase and thus also got delayed due to the same reason. The delay could have been avoided by the team manager by following the leadership skill requited for the stage 3 of the team building model and analyzing the barriers to the team performance.

Further it can be observed that there is increase on cost in Task 4 of electrical work because of the delay caused in earlier task. Tough the task was completed within the scheduled time for the task, the increase in cost was on account of idle time of the workers. The worker could not employ themselves on other projects because the structure of the organization is functional and hence the idle time cost of the workers was added to the cost of the project. This cost overrun in cost of the task can be attributed to the lack of integration and communication among the team members. Every person in the tam should be aware of the progress of the project in order to give effect to the planned activities at the schedules time and in the budgeted cost. Since there was lack of communication among the team members the electrical job workers were not aware of the delay in the project and thus could not employ them with other project simultaneously running in the Company. Had there been effective and formal mode of communication followed by the team, the electrical team members would have been able to know about the delay and the idle time cost allocation to the project could have been avoided.

The twelve leadership skills required by the project manager shows that the project should be able to communicate openly with the team members and also the team members must have transparent communication among themselves. He should inspire and energize the team members and manage the activities of the project. The team required for the building of the stage can be considered as the self directing team because each and every task of the project like the fabrication, assembling, painting and electrical work are all unique in their function and no one task performer can help the other in the job. Leading the self directing teams require all the more effective and great deal of team management skills because very member has the sense of in dependability and superiority in the task performed by them(Cleland, D., & Ireland., L., 2006).

Te steps that should have been followed by the project manager:

Indentify the project requirement precisely in terms of the function that are to performed by the different groups of people

Communicating them the goals of the project along with the time lines and cost for the activities of each group

Motivating the different functional groups to work in coordination with each other towards the fulfillment of the common goal

Developing the effecting method of communication of the activities and progress of one group of the team to the remaining groups so that the team members are aware of the progress of the project and any changes can be made timely and accordingly.

Measuring the performance of the team and level of integration regularly and removing the barriers if nay to the performance of the team.

It can be concluded that the application of the effective and proper team building and leadership skills of the project leader and the follow up of the above listed actions would have helped the project manager to reduce the cost of the project and also improves the schedule of the project.

Article name: Analysing Project Leadership and Team Building essay, research paper, dissertation