Team Development

Team development involves the development of competencies to increase the performance of the project. This could include individuals, stakeholders, or group development, which occurs as the project team progresses through the project. As the project evolves, so does the team. Consequently, the team members' knowledge and expertise also increase. Therefore, team development can have a significant positive impact on project performance.

The inputs to team development include project staff, the project plan, staffing management plan, performance reports, and external feedback. All these inputs are covered in other sections of the PMBOK but are listed in this section, too. You must understand these concepts and recognize these terms for the test. Because team development is a general management concept, the majority of workers in today's workplace have experienced it firsthand.


Team development occurs throughout the entire project.

Tools and Techniques for Team Development

Team development encompasses a multitude of activities and events that increase knowledge, team cohesiveness, effectiveness, and efficiency. According to the PMBOK, these include team-building activities, general management skills, reward and recognition systems, collocation, and training.


The effective management of a dual reporting relationship between the functional manager and the project manager is often a critical success factor for a project.

Team building involves activities that develop camaraderie in order to enhance team performance. They could include conflict-resolution exercises, interpersonal communication skills development, sponsor and stakeholder brainstorming activities, and other group activities that emphasize team development. A key way to create team building is through participation in planning activities. Team building can be provided by individuals or organizations that operate internally or externally to the organization.


You must be aware that if a project team does not work together, this will have a negative impact on the project. Positive team building plays an integral role in the success of a project.

General management skills are discussed in Chapter 2 of the PMBOK and are an important facet of the team development process. Reward and recognition systems are defined in the PMBOK as "formal management actions that promote or reinforce desired behavior." Managers frequently use rewards in the workplace (or should) and understand the importance of providing positive feedback to their teams and stakeholders. Providing linkage between positive outcomes and rewards is the key to reinforcing constructive performance on a project. The PMBOK also discusses how cultures can make a difference on a project and the implications of rewards based on different individuals.


The PMBOK states that traditional reward systems do not generally fulfill the requirements for a project. Therefore, specialized reward systems will need to be developed to provide ample coverage to the needs of the project and team.

Collocation occurs when team members are physically located within a close proximity of each other. The advantages of collocation include the following:

  • Enhanced communication among team members

  • An intense focus on the project

  • Emphasis on successful project completion

Many times a war room is set up so that team members can be collocated in a single room. Here, they can focus on the project without external interference and complications. The main purpose of a war room is to provide collocation, with a heavy emphasis on the project, and to supply the appropriate tools, such as whiteboards, bulletin boards with schedules, and other project-related materials.


You must know the definition of a war room for the exam. This is where the team is collocated in a specific area and utilizes the space to post reports, schedules, and other pertinent project-related information.

Although you will not likely be asked to provide the definition of training for the PMP exam, you could be provided examples concerning the effectiveness of training and the implications on the project and the fact that the cost of training is usually paid by the organization that performs the project management.

Outputs to Team Development

Team development has only two outputs performance improvements and input for performance appraisals but these can involve a lot of results. Performance improvements can originate from several sources, including individual skills or group behaviors, by increasing competency levels of individuals, teams, or both. The performance of individuals or teams is an element to the overall performance appraisal process for the team or team members.

Problem Solving

The role of the project manager and the team in problem solving includes identifying problems and determining the various options for resolution. After the options have been determined, the project manager must make a decision to choose the best alternative. The project manager should solicit feedback from the team members and encourage their buy-in so that everyone takes part in the process.

Problems generally get elevated to senior management when the team cannot resolve the matter itself by utilizing referent power and needs the assistance of a sponsor or upper management. This process involves the identification of the problem, the source or sources of the problem, and recommendations for resolution.


You will encounter several situational questions on the exam dealing with problem-solving scenarios.

Types of Power

Team development frequently involves utilization of power for resolution of issues. This involves the use of some type of influence to make a decision and determine how to proceed with a project. Power and authority will be covered extensively on the PMP exam. You need to know the types of power and how they can be utilized in various situations. The types of power are detailed in Table 6.3.

Table 6.3. Formal and Informal Types of Influence

Type of Power



Formal authority based on a title or position within an organization. For example, a CEO has power based on his or her position in the corporate hierarchy.


Power that is based on intimidation or use of force to push one's issue or decision.


Power based on the ability to provide or withhold rewards to or from a participant. For example, a supervisor might say, "Do as I ask or you will not get a pay increase."


Power based on a person's knowledge or expertise.


"Borrowed" legitimate power that is transferred from a formal leader to a project manager. For example, a vice president might say, "Whenever the project manager speaks, it is just like me speaking."


Referent power is one of the most important types of power for project managers because they generally have all the responsibility for a project without the authority to get everything done.

Conflict Resolution

Part of building and maintaining a project team is the ability to handle conflict and resolve conflict issues. You need to know and understand five conflict-resolution techniques for the exam. You will encounter situational questions on the exam that require you to determine which type of conflict-resolution technique is best suited for a particular situation, and whether it is a win-win, win-lose, or lose-lose conflict-resolution technique. In a win-win scenario, both parties win. In a win-lose situation, one party wins and the other party loses. In a lose-lose scenario, both parties lose. The five conflict-resolution techniques are detailed in Table 6.4.

Table 6.4. Conflict Resolution Methods

Conflict Resolution Technique


Best Used When…


Also known as problem solving. This involves approaching an issue straight on in order to discuss it for a win-win resolution.

The time for fact finding is available to develop the best solution. This is the preferred way to resolve conflict.


Utilizing negotiation to come to a resolution by each party giving in. Neither party loses or wins.

Team involvement is encouraged and positive relation-ships need to be maintained. Neither side is 100% satisfied, but the conflict is generally resolved.

Withdrawal (avoidance)

Ignoring a conflict in an attempt that it will disappear or decrease over time. This approach does not provide resolution because it results in a lose-lose outcome.

The issue is very hot and someone refuses to discuss the matter any further.


This is just a temporary solution and not a final resolution. The conflict is downplayed for the time being until it reappears at a later time. This is a lose-lose resolution technique because the conflict is not resolved.

The conflict needs to be put on the "back burner" until someone brings it up again.


Formal power is generally utilized in this situation to emphasize the resolution by saying "I have the authority to say this is the final decision." This is a win-lose conflict-resolution technique.

Time is short or the conflict cannot be resolved through problem-solving techniques.

Team Development Theories

You will need to know these theories for the PMP exam, which are detailed in the following subsections. Table 6.5 consolidates this information for you, summarizing the theories for the team development section.

Table 6.5. Theories Summary Table

Theory Name


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The pyramid of hierarchical needs, from basic physical needs to self-actualization.

Fredrick Herzberg's Hygiene Theory

Asserts that people are motivated by hygiene factors that deal with the work and satisfaction people get by performing the actual functions of the job. This includes the ability to learn new skills and get promoted, among other attributes.

Expectancy Theory

Asserts that people are motivated in their work with the expectation of being rewarded.

Achievement Theory

Asserts that people are motivated by power, affiliation, or achievement.

McGregor's X Theory

Theory X managers believe that people are mostly lazy and need close supervision.

McGregor's Y Theory

This Theory postulates that Y managers believe that people are mostly hard workers and do not need close supervision.

Contingency Theory

A combination of the Y Theory and the Hygiene Theory. It asserts that people strive to become competent and are motivated after the competency is developed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The first theory is Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This hierarchy is seen as a pyramid with the first level, Physical Needs, at the base of the pyramid. The contents of the pyramid are described in Table 6.6.

This popular theory is included in the PMBOK team development area because it emphasizes how team members can strive to achieve their peak performance. After a person has risen to the highest levels of the hierarchy, this provides him or her with the ability to communicate effectively and provide results to difficult situations that require creativity in a team setting. The exam will likely have some questions associated with this well-known theory.

Table 6.6. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Needs Title



Physical Needs

Food, water, clothing, shelter


Safety and Security

Physical welfare and personal belongings


Social Needs

Love, friendship, acceptance



Self-respect and feelings of accomplishment



The ultimate of self-potential


You will likely see at least one or two questions concerning Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs on the PMP exam.

Herzberg's Hygiene Theory

Also know as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, Herzberg's theory states that motivation is based on two factors: motivators and hygiene factors. Benefits, pay, and work conditions are examples of hygiene factors. Motivators are related to the challenge and satisfaction associated with actually performing one's job.

Motivators help provide job satisfaction and hygiene factors are job attributes that help prevent job dissatisfaction. The necessity to keep your team satisfied is an important part of maintaining good productivity levels and team development.


Herzberg felt that pay was not a motivator and that hygiene factors only prevent job dissatisfaction. They do not motivate.

Motivating factors include your actual work and the satisfaction you get from doing the work. These involve learning new skills, getting promotions, and facing work-related challenges.

Expectancy Theory

The expectation of being rewarded is the driving motivation behind the Expectancy Theory. Therefore, there is a linkage between behavior and a positive outcome. This positive outcome is what motivates us to respond in a certain way.

The theory also involves a self-fulfilling prophecy aspect in regard to positive reinforcement. In other words, if you praise your team as high performers, they tend to become high performers. Conversely, if team members are repeatedly told that they are low performers, they tend to become low performers.

Achievement Theory

The need for power, affiliation, and achievement are the only three motivating factors for people, according to the Achievement Theory. Let's examine these factors further. The power of motivation includes the ability to influence others. Affiliation is a feeling of belonging to a team and involves developing relationships. Achievement is the feeling of satisfaction you receive from advancing in your career or completing a project.


According to the Achievement Theory, if a person is not motivated by any of these three factors, that person is not motivated in his or her job.

McGregor's X and Y Theories

These theories describe how different managers respond to their employees. The X Theory asserts that workers are generally lazy and need an autocratic type of manager to get their work completed; whereas, the Y Theory maintains that employees are generally hard workers and do not need constant supervision in order to complete their duties. Y Theory type managers provide limited supervision and feel that most employees want to positively contribute to the organization.


X Theory managers and Y Theory managers are generally opposites of each other concerning how they view the motivation behind employee productivity.

PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
Year: 2003
Pages: 169 © 2008-2017.
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