Checklist Quick Select

Fail Better Checklist #3:
Build Your Team

Your project team needs to begin with a shared vision, clearly delineated processes, and the right skills to reach your project's goals. Use our checklist to work through team start-up activities.

1. Assemble your roster

Identify who is on the team and what they bring to the project.

Engage team members in identifying their own strengths and weaknesses, including skills, capabilities, experience, contacts, relationships, and interests.

Help team members link their identified weaknesses to their goals for professional development. Find ways they can work on these goals as part of their project role and work.

2. Find creative ways to shore up the team

You already identified gaps in resources. Now that you know more about your team, advocate for what you need. If you need to get creative, consider sharing a needed expert between two project teams or trading one resource for another. Check if your team would benefit from other inputs: training, software or equipment, a team room, or even management time. Begin implementing your gap strategy early on in the project process, so you're not stymied later in the project.

3. Refine your project map, deliverables list, and work plan as a team

Review the problem statement, deliverables list, open issues list, work plan notes, project impact diagram, resource inventory, and stakeholder map, updating to reflect new insights and information provided by the team.

Set expectations about and jointly develop a process for how the above items will be made useful throughout the project, not just at launch.

4. Build effective team habits and culture

Design early interactions to enable team members to develop a functional level of equity, participation, and communication.

Establish ground rules, team values, and team habits that all members support. Discussion is one way to do this. Bear in mind that it may be better to support the emergence of effective processes within the team by supporting interactions and modeling, or even giving team members space to navigate their relationships and roles.

Orient the team toward the Fail Better project approach. Also preview what you will embark on in the next phase, including a commitment to experimentation, collecting and using data, taking acceptable risks, linking work streams, and gathering and using feedback on various aspects of the project.