Key Qualities of a Successful Project Team


If you have read John Maxwell's “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player,” you quickly realize that sometimes the word “team” is often overused to describe anyone and everyone who is involved on a particular project. On the contrary, there are times you witness a team running like a well-oiled machine. Steve James, PM of I-35 in Waco, says:
“The key to success of a large complex project is communication, organization, and total buy-in from all parties. On the $350 million Waco I-35 reconstruction project, we have all three. This project is managed by a BGE PM with staffing from consultants and TxDOT intermingled. This magnifies any problems if the three main components above are not followed. First, TxDOT is committed to the success of this project from the District Engineer down. District staff, Area Engineer and staff, public information, and division personnel are available immediately to address issues. With over 250 change orders and 550 RFIs to date, communication and organization is paramount. By using the original project-specific manual and adapting as needed, we have included TxDOT staff, two design firms, a testing lab, four public information groups, contractor personnel, two record keepers, engineering staff, approximately 20 inspectors, in their various areas of expertise or need. We are using the TxDOT SharePoint site and a BGE drive to keep all documentation. This proved invaluable when the TxDOT system went down for over a month last year. In addition to several sets of plans in the field office, we have all updates and a complete updated plan set online for all inspectors, engineers, and staff. The engineer in charge of change orders is directly responsible for updating these sets. Although testing is being performed by both TxDOT and the consultant laboratory, all SiteManager entries and reviews are done by the consultant lab and material experts to maintain conformity and consistency. Estimates are running approximately $10 million per month. This requires one record keeper to handle DWRs, estimates, and MOH. The other record keeper handles payrolls, invoices and tickets, CUF reports, meeting notes and agendas, and other state and FHWA requirements.”

Any size construction project can be completed with outstanding results if this truly the objective of the “Project Team” and everyone is committed to the outcome. The Project Team detailed above is:
  • Adaptable to project needs for success;
  • Collaborative, which at times is difficult in a virtual environment, but the team is committed to making it happen;
  • Communicative to resolve issues quickly;
  • Competent in resolution;
  • Dependable in authority;
  • Disciplined in keeping to the objective;
  • Enlarging to add members to the team that add value.
Enthusiastic and tenacious are the last two qualities I will mention (you can look up the other seven in the aforementioned book — it is a great read), as the District leadership are the source of energy for the team and they keep pushing to ensure the “Project Team” makes it to the ribbon cutting next year. Be safe.



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