Team Performance Domain

The project team is responsible for creating value for the organization by producing the project deliveries. Therefore a high-performing team is a must for any project's future. As we know, Performance domains is a new concept introduced by the PMBOK 7 as a replacement for knowledge areas.  Similarly, process groups were replaced by project management principles

The team performance domain focuses on building high-performing teams, coaching the team effectively, increasing the functioning level, creating collaborative team spaces, and monitoring and measurement of their performance. In order to achieve the planned goals of this performance domain, we use some processes and actions as is the case for all other performance domains.

The concepts behind these performance domains are applicable to both agile and predictive development approaches. It is okay if you feel a resemblance with the agile principles when you explore the fundamentals of the team performance domain because day by day the differences in approaches between agile and predictive are decreasing. Team leaders always need to focus on their efforts on people factors to get the maximum return on performance. To do this the main and most effective way is to build good teams.

In PMBOK 7, It is assumed that, if we successfully perform all tasks of the team performance domain according to the delivery principles of PMBOK, the outcome will be a high-performing team, shared ownership, and interpersonal skills demonstrated by the team members.

The first thing in the team performance domain to consider is always to develop team rules and processes to build an effective working team. This may seem old school to you since the thing of PMBOK 7 was focusing on principles and people rather than rules and processes. However, the easiest way to communicate the style of performing the work is by building rules and processes. They are easy to understand and pass the idea by using them. This does not necessarily mean we will limit the freedom of the project team by doing this. All processes should be as flexible as possible. There is an obvious relation between the team performance domain and planning performance domain, stakeholder performance domain, and measurement performance domain.

What is a high-performing team?

High-performing teams are typical, trustworthy, well-organized teams. High-performing teams usually demonstrate positive behavior they are committed to the project. They are always focused on the requirements of the stakeholders and team members take responsibility when needed without hesitation. A high-performing team communicates openly and explicitly, they value diversity and they keep their performance sustainable. 

The main work of building a high-performing team is promoting the interpersonal and technical skills of the team. A team should be committed to a common goal. Their skills should complement each other. To do this you have to provide the necessary training and conditions for the project team. Team member selection is also done by taking these factors into consideration. 

Showing leadership and being a good steward in necessary points of the project is another concept that is included under the team performance domain. The project leader is naturally obliged to bring effective leadership to the table but this is not enough. Also, team members should not hesitate to be the leader in specific cases. A project manager needs to act in accordance with the stewardship principle and take the team principle, leadership principle into consideration.

Another important topic is motivators and demotivators that may affect the outcome of team performance dramatically. Since there are tons of misconceptions about this subject, motivators should be closely examined throughout the project. Even if the validity of many of them is still controversial there are several motivational theories that help to create a universal understanding of motivational factors.  

Some examples of popular motivational theories are:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: According to Abraham Maslow, increasing people's motivation depends on needs within one's own rather than external factors. Although factors such as reward and punishment are methods of increasing motivation that first come to mind, they are not actually effective methods at all.

People's needs are unlimited. Almost always, without exception, after people satisfy one need, another need arises. In the meantime, unmet need is a great motivator for the person. People always show an interest in things that have not yet been achieved. After the need is eliminated, the motivation for this need loses its decisive effect on behavior. These orientations rise into a pyramid and reach the highest level when a person finds himself.

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1- John 27.07.2021

Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to explore new concepts introduced by the PMBOK 7.