There are many kinds of teams. A functional team is a permanent team established to conduct operational activities for a particular part of the organization, such as finance, sales, marketing, etc.
There is no specified time limit on functional teams as they are needed to keep the business running. A project team is brought together for a discrete period of time to achieve a defined goal. At the end of the project the team is disbanded.
Project teams are often matrix in nature, staffed by members taken from diverse functional teams in order to achieve the project goal. When the Project Manager has a high degree of authority this is known as a strong matrix; when Functional Managers have stronger authority this is known as a weak matrix.
If only it were just about defining scope, creating a project plan, and tracking costs! Project Management obviously encompasses all those things, but now more than ever it’s also about relationship development, team building, influencing, collaborating, and negotiating often in a very complex environment. As my father often said, this job would be easy, if it weren’t for the people!
To those of you who made it this far into this article, kudos! For many, as soon as they saw the words “earned value” in the title, they begged off. No one wants to have the earned value conversation, particularly those folks who are not actively doing earned value. But they could and they should. Why? They should give serious consideration to the earned value criteria because they’re criteria that actually lead to effective mechanical application of project management and its tools and structures.
How to control your greatest asset and potentially your biggest threat
Critical to any projects success is having a good project sponsor, but, like the saying goes ‘you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your relatives’ and the same is true of project sponsors.
What is productive laziness
'Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.' Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
By advocating being a 'lazy' project manager I do not intend that we should all do absolutely nothing. I am not saying we should all sit around drinking coffee, reading a good book and engaging in idle gossip whilst watching the project hours go by and the non-delivered project milestones disappear over the horizon. That would obviously be plain stupid and would result in an extremely short career in project management, in fact probably a very short career full stop!
Lazy does not mean Stupid. No I really mean that we should all adopt a more focused approach to project management and to exercise our efforts where it really matters, rather than rushing around like busy, busy bees involving ourselves in unimportant, non-critical activities that others can better address, or indeed that do not need addressing at all in some cases.