How PMP Team Leaders and Team Members Complement Each Other

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

describe the imageA great project team is made up of both team leaders and team members. The following are some attributes and characteristics of both.

Great Team Leaders 

Great team leaders apply lessons learned, and share them with the team. They are aware of different projects and outcomes, not only those they’ve worked on, but those their colleagues have learned from as well. They ask team members to share lessons learned from another project and about the organization.  Bringing this information forward saves time, money and effort in managing the triple constraint.

In addition to using software, templates and documenting lessons learned, good project managers keep a project notebook for themselves and others to track what’s happening at any level at any given time on a project. An effective project notebook can still be paper, but it is more common to now see collaborative online software systems, i.e., SharePoint,, or any one of the many different applications today that with a collective collaboration area where the project notebooks can be archived. Being an effective project leader means not only just applying the art and science of project management, but also applying some of these practices as well.

Exceptional Team Players 

Team players are not just doing tasks or producing deliverables, they are critical and important members of a project team. Exceptional team players provide input into the project, identify real-time information to the project manager and team about what’s happening, or about what’s going to affect the schedule, and do not sit on or withhold information. They also provide insight regarding risk and issues. Often, team members are the people doing the work, so they are the best to identify and bring to the surface risk and issues so that the team and project manager can handle them appropriately and timely.

Great team players provide accurate status as well, paying close attention to the information they provide to the project manager instead of trying to save time and throwing out a random status.  Additionally, exceptional team players let their voice be heard if there is a potential delay or concern, rather than continue to work on an issue with the hope it will be resolved, and come to a deadline and miss it because it wasn’t raised.

Finally, great team players know the difference between task and deliverables. It’s important to be working the task, but also to keep in mind that those tasks are actually being done to produce a deliverable.

Being exceptional should be a goal of both project leaders and team members. For a project to be more effective, efficient and successful, it really takes a combination of both.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt) of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at

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