At this point in your project planning, you'll need to form (or have formed) your project team. You've clearly identified the project and its major deliverables so now you need the project team to begin contributing their ideas and expertise so the project gets off on the right foot. In Chapter 4 you learned about managing an IT project team and there's a lot of detail in that chapter that you might want to review. In this chapter, we discussed how to actually form the team.
You need to begin by defining your team requirements so you can be sure to include the right people with the right expertise at the right time in the right way. This is often best done without identifying specific people so you make sure you cover your project requirements before you get into specifics of people and personalities. Once you've identified these requirements, you can begin looking at specific people and identifying who you need and what constraints might have to be considered.
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are absolutely critical to project success because they help everyone know exactly what they should be doing. Sometimes it's helpful to define roles using the "is/is not" structure we discussed earlier in the book. Well-defined roles and responsibilities also help you hold team members individually accountable for results. Clear performance guidelines improve project sucsess and help make the performance evaluation process fair and consistent.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to actually get the needed staff assigned to your project. With some high profile, exciting, cutting-edge projects, it's relatively easy to get top-notch talent to volunteer or be assigned to the project. In other cases, it's more difficult. If at all possible, link participation in mundane projects to participation in the high profile projects to ensure that even the most boring, routine projects get their share of talented staff. Avoid accepting known troublemakers on the team by having an honest discussion with the project sponsor. A successful project starts with a strong project team and allowing a known disruptive influence on the team without at least pushing back will put your project at risk.
Once you've formed the team, you need to do a little work turning it from a group of individuals to a highly functional team. There are numerous ways to do this (review Chapter 4) and with a little creativity and effort, you can find ways to forge a team identity that will help propel the project toward success.