Team Satisfaction

The evaluation of team satisfaction is just as important as the assessment of customer satisfaction. While there is a lot of research available on customer satisfaction this is not the case for the question: how satisfied are project team members with the project management and the project results? However, it is essential to know how our team members evaluate project results, project management, leadership, and the team work because their “inside views” can give us valuable suggestions where we can improve our project management process, leadership behavior, the environment of “healthy” team dynamics, and much more, for our future projects.

By the term “team satisfaction” we mean the satisfaction of team members of the project team. As with customer satisfaction, here we also suggest to use interviews with individual team members in case of smaller project teams of up to twelve people, and questionnaires for larger teams. Both, interviews and questionnaires should cover team work and leadership issues as well as work content and results in all phases of project management.

Team work or collaboration within the team

Here we want to cover aspects of team work and group dynamics of the core project management team as seen by the team members. The following questions of a team satisfaction survey include the project manager as a team member with his / her special role as team leader.

  • Did we set and communicate clear goals for all of our discussions?
  • Did we consistently follow those goals?
  • Did we set and agree to rules for our cooperation and communication?
  • Did we consistently follow those rules?
  • What did we do for our cross-cultural understanding?
  • Did we respect each other personally and in terms of expertise?
  • Did we listen to each other by clarifying unclear points and asking appropriate questions?
  • Did we assign all necessary roles?
  • What did we do for our development as a team?
  • How did we set up the information flow within the team?
  • How did we make decisions?
  • Did we include all necessary team members in the problem solution processes?
  • Did we include all necessary team members in the decision making processes?
  • How did we deal with tension or conflict?
  • How did we deal with mistakes (hiding them, blaming each other, learning from them, etc.)?
  • Did we establish a culture of feedback and constructive criticism among all team members?
  • How well did we communicate with project participants and stakeholders outside the team?
  • If applicable, how well worked our virtual team communication and collaboration?

Leadership behavior of the team leaders

Leadership behavior has strong influence on team satisfaction. The team leaders - that is project manager and sub-project managers - could ask their team members for feedback based on the following list of questions.

  • Did our team leader give us comprehensive information about project goal?
  • Did our team leader involve us in analyzing requirements in terms of project scope, milestones and budget restrictions?
  • Did our team leader support us shaping the information flow across the team appropriately?
  • Did our team leader empower us sufficiently so that we could develop all necessary project plans?
  • How did our team leader perform as discussion facilitator?
  • Was our team leader always open for feedback?
  • How did our team leader respond to critical feedback?
  • Did our team leader give us feedback to support us improve our performance?
  • How did our team leader promote the development of our team in terms of group dynamics?
  • How did our team leader support our individual and team motivation?
  • Did our team leader use methods of coaching to support us?
  • How did our team leader support our individual development?
  • Was our team leader a role model in terms of business conduct and integrity?

Project definition

As the first area of rather content and result oriented factors, the definition of project goals and requirements has influence on team performance and team satisfaction. Here are some examples of questions covering this area.

  • How well did we involve the project stakeholders in developing the project goals and project requirements?
  • How well did we integrate conflicting stakeholder interests?
  • Did we communicate the project goals to all stakeholders?
  • How did we deal with feedback from the project stakeholders during goal setting and the definition of project requirements?
  • How well did we document the project goals and requirements?

Project planning

Another area of important influencing factors on team satisfaction are all the major activities in project planning phase. The following list gives a small selection of possible questions in this area.

  • At the beginning of project planning phase, did we have a clear understanding of all project goals and requirements?
  • Did we pro-actively involve the project stakeholders into clarifying the project goals and requirements?
  • Were the project goals and project requirements appropriate as a basis for our further planning?
  • Did we follow the planning process appropriately (PBS, WBS, effort estimation and risk management, network diagram, Gantt chart, milestone plan, assignment of resources, resource plan, cost plan, payment plan, preparing the controlling tools, preparing the project contracts including change and claim management, setting up the communications plan)?
  • Were our contract negotiations with other involved parties appropriate?
  • Did we set up an appropriate project organization (project line, projectized, matrix, functional)?
  • If applicable, was the project management office appropriate / effective?
  • If applicable, was our preparation of the handover to the implementation team appropriate / effective?

Project implementation

Performance in project implementation determines project success, and thus, overall team satisfaction. Here is a small set of possible questions covering this area.

  • If applicable, was the handover from the planning team to the implementation team appropriate / effective?
  • Did we obtain a clear understanding of all project goals and requirements?
  • Did we obtain a clear understanding of all project plans?
  • Did we obtain a clear understanding of all project contracts?
  • Did we pro-actively involve the project stakeholders into clarifying all issues of project implementation?
  • Could we follow the project plans (PBS, WBS, risk management, network diagram, Gantt chart, milestone plan, resource plan, cost plan, payment plan, controlling tools, communications plan)?
  • Could we successfully apply the change and claim management processes as set up in the contracts (for example, recording all relevant events and documenting them, notifying other parties, etc.)?
  • Were our negotiations of change requests appropriate / successful?
  • Were our negotiations of claims appropriate / successful?
  • Did the project organization support our activities in implementation phase?
  • If applicable, was the project management office appropriate / effective?
  • Did we successfully achieve all the project goals for implementation phase based on the project requirements?
  • Did we achieve preliminary acceptance in time and in budget?
  • Could we prepare and agree upon a list of open points (LOP)?
  • Was our documentation of project implementation phase complete?

Project closure

Finally, our activities in project closure phase have significant influence on project success and team satisfaction. The following list contains the most important questions covering this area.

  • Could we resolve all items of the LOP?
  • Could we settle all open claims?
  • Could we successfully handover the project results to the customer and/or user?
  • Did we appropriately handover the project result to the service team members who take care of the warranty period or further customer support?
  • Did we complete and close all relevant reports and documents including the contracts?
  • Did we get final acceptance of the project results?
  • Did we carry out a lessons learned workshop, including a final risk assessment?
  • Did we call for feedback of all team members, the control board members, the customer, and other main stakeholders?
  • Did we hold a party with all our team members?
  • Did we release all resources and support all team members to find new assignments?
  • Did we achieve all project goals, in terms of scope, schedule and budget?

Remarks:

  1. The above lists of questions are not exhaustive – you might need to adapt them to your specific project situation.
  2. All personal feedback should be kept strictly confidential. For further use or evaluation make it anonymous.

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