The most successful team is not always the A team

Very rarely is a project team the A team, but rather a unique blend of skills, character and strengths.

There is a perception that the best individuals in a field combined is always the more successful team i.e. the A Team. However, project teams benefit from combining the right technical skills, strengths, unique characters and attitude. For example, the team members may not necessarily be the best skilled but the best fit.  This requires creative thinking and a deep knowledge of the skills, strengths and characters of the available resources and project team members.

Know the project human resource requirements

Managing human resources involves mobilizing and maintaining the right mix of people, as well as creating a culture and environment that will motivate and develop project team members.  Human resources processes and systems are important in monitoring the work climate, performance and modifying it where necessary. 

Monitoring and providing feedback on project and individual performance provides critical information to project leaders and leadership regarding the motivation, career development aspirations and culture amongst project team members.

Thus, the importance of establishing the correct project human resources processes and systems at project launch must be stressed.

Know the project role requirements

Project Managers often focus on the technical skills required for executing a successful project, forgetting about the effective combination of skills, knowledge and attributes needed.  Behavioural and attitudinal strengths and weaknesses are equally important, a ‘can do’ attitude and the resilience to react appropriately to project crises amongst others. 

Project managers and leadership should document project role requirements, the specific skills, knowledge and attributes needed. The latter allows for more targeted selection of project team members.  Human Resources professionals are key to this process.

Know the talent available for projects

A deeper insight into the technical skills, strengths and unique character traits of available project talent assist in mobilizing project team members who are both a cultural and technical fit. 

Furthermore, understanding the available project resources allow for a combination of skills where the focus is on strengths rather than weaknesses, allowing for projects teams to be more motivated, work together more effectively and execute more successfully on project plans. 

Similarly, projects are often experiencing severe budget and deadline constraints causing conflict within project teams.  Mobilizing the right project talent may assist the project team in better resolving and managing the conflict.

Human Resources professionals assist with the identification of the talent available and to assign the right talent to the right roles by having the deeper insight in resources. The Human Resources professional is the Project Manager’s right hand in the configuration of the project team and helps manage and resolve conflict.


To identify project talent with the right combination of skills, knowledge and attributes, project management professionals rely heavily on the input from Human Resources professionals. 

The engagement of a Human Resources professional to assist with human resources management of projects have the added benefit of assistance with project organisation development, project change management and project culture development / entrenchment.

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5 thoughts on “The most successful team is not always the A team”

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