PMI Project Managers Take On Teamwork

Last week I had the honor of speaking at Instant Impact 2017, the annual one-day PMI Conference in Tacoma, WA. Hosted by the PMI Olympia Chapter, the event brought together almost 200 project managers from all across Washington State.The topic for my discussion was how project managers can deliver better project results by improving how their project teams interact. Referencing this paper by Seweryn Spalek, we all agreed that the top critical success factors of any project have…

  • A capable project manager
  • A clearly defined goal
  • A competent and cohesive project team

During my session, we reviewed The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, the powerful framework based on Patrick Lencioni’s best-seller, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, that outlines the five things any cohesive team must do:

  • Build vulnerability-based TRUST across the team
  • Enable healthy CONFLICT around ideas
  • Drive team members to COMMIT to the decisions made by the team
  • Foster higher levels of ACCOUNTABILITY, especially between peers
  • Focus on shared RESULTS, rather than getting caught up trying to achieve your own personal goals at the expense of the project

This was a new framework for many attendees. While the underlying concepts were widely known, several people expressed excitement about being able to use this model to quickly get every team member on the same page. This is exactly why I find The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team so valuable – it establishes a common language for how we can work most effectively together. Used as a collective solution, the framework, the tools and the techniques have been proven to drive higher levels of team member engagement and overall team productivity…leading of course to more successful projects!

Do you have a story about how strong teamwork made a difference on your project? I’d love to hear about it. [email protected]


Brett Cooper

Brett is the visionary President of Integris Performance Advisors, a professional development firm he co-founded to expand the existence of healthy organizations and great places to work. By creatively bringing together concepts from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (by Patrick Lencioni), The Leadership Challenge (by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner), and Lean Six Sigma, Brett and his team have influenced thousands of people in government, non-profits and corporate America to work together in more productive, more effective and more human ways. Outside of his role at Integris, Brett dedicates time to serving others in need. He is a volunteer coordinator for the East Bay Stand Down and Stand Down on the Delta, two non-profits serving the needs of San Francisco’s homeless Veteran population. He is also board member and financial sponsor for Partners in Sustainable Learning, whose mission is to bring early childhood education to marginalized communities in the developing world (current projects are underway in Nepal).
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