The formation of the core team is a relatively straightforward process. It all begins with selecting the right project manager and staffing the rest of the team with skilled dedicated resources.
As with any project, the strength and leadership of the project manager has a direct bearing on the success of the project team. Therefore, it is important that he or she possess certain core skills. First and foremost, for projects of this nature, it is important that the project manager be a "change agent," a tenacious proponent of change. This is a project with at times an insurmountable resistance to change, therefore it is necessary for the project manager to possess the skills necessary to break down barriers and to drive a new way to approach things. Equally important is the project manager's ability to build coalitions, influence, and sell. A team may have the greatest idea or approach, but if it cannot be clearly articulated , packaged, and sold, it will go nowhere.
Selecting the members of a team is normally a fairly uneventful task. Whoever is available or has the least amount "on their plate" is usually the obvious candidate for the team. However, given the importance of the task at hand, and given that the success of this team will be directly influenced by the varying skills of its team members, it is imperative to select each team based on the skills profile described earlier. To recap, the team's makeup should include members with the following skill sets: applications development and management, database administration, system administration, infrastructure development and management, and facilities management. Skill set is only one attribute to consider; equally important is attitude and delivery. As with the project manager, each team member must be an agent of change. They must possess a desire to deliver results amid much skepticism and resistance to change.
Being part of this project team should not be a part-time job. Part-time resources result in conflicting priorities, sporadic delivery, and continuous review and "level up" across the team. To achieve a consistent cohesive strategy delivered with velocity, dedicated resources are imperative to success. Therefore, if you do extract a resource from another project or assignment, you should relieve that person completely of their commitments to that project or assignment. Distractions will ultimately affect the team's delivery in some fashion, whether it is through elongated delivery times, or worse , missed deliverables. If you cannot secure dedicated resources, then I would make the assertion that your management team does not see this project as a priority.
If you are like most, when you hear the word empowerment you probably chuckle or roll your eyes, given that it has been a term often misused. The fact remains, however, that empowerment is key to the success of the team. You must, as a team, be given the latitude to define your approach and make the basic decisions necessary to deliver a cohesive and integrated solution, and that means being able to think out of the proverbial "box." Where empowerment can fall short is when management forms a team of this nature and simply says "you're empowered" and expects you to go forth and slay dragons in the name of progress. To truly get the most out of empowerment it is necessary to define the boundaries within which the team must operate , as well as communicate expectations. This all points back to the job ticket. In addition, it is necessary to establish a communication plan that includes a support team and decision team review and feedback process. Frequent review and feedback will become the team's critical factors for success. This will allow for quick feedback on decisions that the team made and the approach that the team is taking.