Projects are an important part of any business.
Successful businesses often have many projects going on at all times. Projects are started to solve current problems with efficiency and profit. Other projects are started with the goal of making the business better or to allow the business to evolve and adapt to changes in the economy.
Employees, contractors, and consultants adept at leading and working on project teams are extremely valuable to businesses. If you are working with a business it's important to understand all aspects of effective project management.
A key aspect of most projects at businesses is organizing the right people to form the project team.
Finding the right people to work on your projects can be difficult. Your company might have great people, but often there is a need to bring in outside resources to accommodate the project workload. If this is the case, you'll need to understand the traits that make for good project partners. Here are some traits to look for when organizing your next project team.
1. Personal Website & Blog
Having a website or a personal blog is a great trait of a potential partner. Just by having a site, the person is showing some initiative, and either technical skills, the ability to delegate to others, or manage a remote team. They actually show an interest in doing something that is more than the normal requirements (even though personal websites and blogs are almost becoming a "must have" these days). It's a trait that shows they actually care about themselves. They want to control their own destiny. It's a great indicator that this person will make a good project partner.
2. Excitement & Passion
Finding people that are passionate about their craft is an obvious trait necessary for success. You want your partners to be passionate and even emotional about their craft. If you're bringing in people that are emotionally connected to their work, they will want to do the best job they can. They have pride in their work. Ask your potential partners to describe their past work. Listen for the emotion in their stories as a good sign of their passion for their craft.
It could probably be #1 on this list. Promptness is hard to find when it comes to projects, especially when working with the new independent workforce all over the world working on multiple projects, but it's critical. Projects have timelines and it's important that each partner is on time. See if you can get a sample of work from a potential partner. Ask them to complete something in a few days. Maybe give them a week. If they deliver it ahead of time and the work is still of good quality, it's a great starting point and sign of promptness. Like a good grandpa always says, "If I say be there at 8:00 A.M. and you're there at 8:00 A.M., you're late."
People that ask questions can be annoying, but if you can get past that you'll find someone that is interested in learning. A person that asks questions is often someone that wants to find solutions to problems. Since projects are started to find solutions, adding inquisitive people to your team can be a great strategy. When interviewing a potential project partner, ask them if they have any questions about the project. The more they have the more likely they fit this description and care about the success of your project.
Overachievers got a bad rap back in the school days. They were always the kids that went above the minimum requirements for a certain grade. Well, in the business world, these are the best people to have on your team. They don't make excuses. They get their tasks completed and deliver results that are more than expected. If you ask for a sample of work before the project starts, the overachievers will likely go beyond your requirements. That's a great initial test. Hire them.
It can be surprisingly difficult to find driven people. It's beneficial, though, for your project if you find someone that is driven to succeed. This means the person is driven to improve their own catalog of work. They want the personal recognition for working on a team that succeeds. This drive means they want the project to succeed. They want your company to succeed. A good way to find driven people is to see what they do when there is no guarantee of success. Look to see if their personal blog has been active for more than a year. See if they stick with something even when there is no immediate success. Driven people have long-term vision.
7. Effective Communication
The old cliche is that communication is key to any relationship. Well, cliches become cliches for a reason (another cliche!). The phrases are often true and in the case of projects, communication is key. Your project partners are people you will be working with for an extended period of time. It's important you find partners that have the ability to communicate and express their concerns and thoughts. The ideal communicator will be easy to understand when you speak with them in person, on the phone, and via email or digital correspondence. Have these conversations before making your decision. You should be able to tell if the person is an effective communicator.
What traits do you look for in a project partner? What has worked well for you?
posted by Sean Crafts