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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Sixth Edition by Robert K. Wysocki

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Establishing Team Operating Rules

PMBOK does not include establishing team operating rules as part of any process group. I believe that having these rules developed and agreed to by every team member is critical to project success. The rules of the engagement will help solve many project-related problems. Project teams all too often fail to define and agree on the team operating rules. This can be a real problem, especially when you are managing a multi-team project. (See Chapter 17 for a lengthy discussion of that type of situation.) These operating rules define how the team works together, makes decisions, resolves conflicts, reports progress, and deals with a host of other administrative chores. Even before the work of the project begins, the team members should agree on how they will work together. This section looks at the areas where operating rules are needed, and then covers the specifics of those operating rules.

Situations that Require Team Operating Rules

Some general situations may arise during the course of a project that will require some action on the part of the team. I have grouped them into the following six action areas:

  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consensus building
  • Brainstorming
  • Team meetings

Consider the following questions from Managing the Project Team: The Human Aspects of Project Management, Volume 3, by Vijay K. Verma (Project Management Institute, 1997) that must be answered at some point in the project life cycle:

  • What has ...

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