These effective team management strategies will help you create a high-performing team capable of achieving project success. 

The success of any project relies heavily on how efficiently a team operates, therefore, effective team management emerges as a pivotal skill. From meeting tight deadlines to ensuring the optimal utilization of resources, the challenges a project manager faces are multifaceted. 

However, with the right strategies in place, these challenges can be transformed into opportunities for growth and development.  

This was echoed in a recent article by Forbes, where project management expert Dana Brownlee stated that effective team management is essential for the success of any project. Further studies by McKinsey & Company also revealed that companies with high-performing teams are 212% more profitable than companies with low-performing teams. 

This article delves into proven team management strategies that can empower project managers to lead with clarity, foster collaboration, and drive projects to completion with excellence. Whether you’re a seasoned manager or just stepping into the role, these insights will provide a blueprint for enhancing team dynamics and ensuring project success. 

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.’’ – Phil Jackson. 

What is Team Management?

Team management is leading a group of people to achieve a common goal. It involves setting goals, delegating tasks, motivating team members, and resolving conflicts.

A good team manager creates a positive and productive work environment where team members feel respected. 

There are many styles of team management. Some managers are more hands-on, while others prefer to give their team members more autonomy. The best team management style varies depending on the team’s composition and task.

Effective Strategies for Project Team Management

When team members work together, they can accomplish more than they could on their own. Many different strategies can be used to manage a team effectively. Here are a few of the most important:

Strategy #1: Build a Strong Team 

Too often, project managers undermine the power of a unified team. A strong team is the foundation of any successful project. LinkedIn’s, Reid Hoffman sums it this way “Regardless of the brilliance of your mind or strategy, you’ll always lose out to a team by playing solo,” When team members are aligned in their goals and work together effectively, they not only develop a healthy team culture, but they achieve great things. 

In many ways, a project will require individuals with diverse skill sets. At the same time, you want to ensure the group is inclusive and with the right size for efficiency. Project managers often make the mistake of gathering more teams than is necessary for a project. Former Twitter CEO suggests using the Two Pizza rule in maximizing team size and efficiency. Trim your team to a size enough to contain two pizzas. 


To build an effective team, you must balance having too few or too many stakeholders. The team composition should be such that significant decisions can be made without compromising project quality or the decision-making process.

A team that is too small can lead to weak decisions and a lack of diversity and inclusion. This is because there are fewer perspectives and ideas to draw from, and team members may not have the necessary skills or expertise to handle complex problems. 

On the other hand, having a team that is too large can lead to inefficiencies and slower decision-making. Managing and coordinating such a large group of people can also be challenging.

Therefore, it’s essential to strike a balance between the number of stakeholders on the team, ensuring there are enough diverse perspectives to promote innovation and creativity while also maintaining efficiency and timely decision-making. 


When team members come from diverse backgrounds, they bring unique insights and problem-solving approaches, which can lead to more innovative solutions. 

By having a team with diverse viewpoints, individuals are more likely to challenge their own assumptions and think outside of their perspectives. This can lead to new and creative solutions that have yet to be considered. In addition, a diverse team can help reduce the risk of groupthink, where individuals conform to the group’s ideas rather than challenge them, leading to suboptimal decision-making.

Next in the project manager’s checklist for effective team management strategies is establishing responsibility dynamics.

Strategy #2: Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities 

Establishing clear roles and responsibilities is also one of the effective team management strategies for ensuring the team’s success. Understand how personality can play out in determining a team’s role and result. A study by the Deloitte Uni Press, reveals that employees who feel their talents and abilities are effectively utilized by employers are significantly more committed to their jobs. Conversely, those who believe they poorly used their skills are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. 

When team members know what each other handles, they can better communicate and coordinate their efforts, thus improving morale and motivation. Team members who feel like a part of a team and contribute to its success are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. 

Establishing thresholds for a project helps to avoid confusion and conflict, allowing the team to work more efficiently and effectively.

Even so, clear roles and responsibilities help to reduce stress and conflict. When there is confusion about who is responsible for what, it can lead to stress and conflict among team members. This can be counterproductive and could lead to team members leaving. 

But beyond roles and responsibilities, project leads must also examine the additional soft skills of teams. Do they have the necessary components to persevere? Do they understand self-management, self-leadership, and accountability? Can they take responsibility for their result? This analysis can help team leads decide who can be a part of the team.


Strategy #3: Define Work Values

Merely pooling a strong and diverse team cannot guarantee the success of a project. Project managers must also align the project goals with practical team values. 

According to a report by McKinsey & Co. from some top executives on the highlight of their experience as a team member, results revealed teamwork and team playing was a major productivity boost. The report indicates that having a shared belief about what the company is striving toward and the role of the team in achieving those goals contributed significantly to productivity. This is consistent with Andrew Carnegie’s quote, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual achievements toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Strategy #4: Foster Collaboration and Communication

Another strategy for effective team management is collaboration and communication.

A study by Deloitte on how leadership affects employee retention suggests that the communication style of a project manager can make the difference between a dedicated team and a reluctant team. Of the common factor that has kept individuals in a project, two-thirds (62 percent) of employees showed their employers communicate effectively. Whereas of those who plan to leave, 66 percent feel that communication is ineffective. 

It is easy for a team to get lost in the absence or excess of information. To avoid this, project managers can employ communication techniques such as the four walls communication game, where team members walk up to a wall of communication styles and stand face to face with their preferred style. A project lead can also leverage other methods like BECC (Bond. Empathize. Connect. Communicate) to understand the individual communication style of the team. Check out Effective Communication Tips for Project Managers. 


In addition, where teams are wide apart, the team lead may explore video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet while respecting the timeframe allocated for each meeting. Other options include Slack, Skype, and more informal channels like WhatsApp and Telegram. While at this, establish ground rules for engagement so the team understands what is and is not permitted.

Where collaboration is fostered by trust, mutual rules, and conflict management techniques, project managers can expect optimal performance from team members. 


Strategy #5: Provide Feedback and Support

According to the renowned author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, every individual has a deep-seated desire to feel appreciated and important, including members of your team. 

Project managers can adopt incentives for rewarding good works based on team members’ age and experience level. For example, younger teams ( millennials) can be motivated with financial bonuses, customized career planning, or leadership development opportunities. At the same time, Gen X (32 years and older) can be appreciated with health benefits or flexible project arrangements. 

Acknowledging positive results and providing a feedback loop is a necessary morale boost for team members. Help team members identify areas where they can improve while providing the support they need.

Strategy #6: Celebrate Successes and Learn from Failures

One of the key strategies for effective team management for project managers is to celebrate successes and learn from failures. In any project, there will be both successes and failures, and it is essential to recognize and acknowledge both.

Celebrating successes is crucial because it helps to boost team morale and motivation. When project leads recognize and appreciate teams’ hard work and achievements, they are more likely to stay engaged and committed to the project. Celebrating successes can take many forms, such as acknowledging individual achievements, recognizing team accomplishments, or even holding a team-wide celebration. 

Learning from failures is equally important because it allows the team to identify what went wrong and make improvements for the future.

Create a culture where failure is seen as an opportunity to improve, not a sign of weakness. When teams feel comfortable admitting their mistakes, they’re more likely to learn from them and improve.

When a project experiences a loss, conduct a thorough analysis to understand what caused the failure and identify ways to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. This involves conducting a post-mortem analysis, reviewing project documentation, and soliciting feedback from team members.

As a project manager, it is vital to balance celebrating successes and learning from failures. While it is important to celebrate successes, it is also important to avoid complacency and continue striving for improvement. Similarly, while it is necessary to learn from failures, it is equally important to avoid dwelling on them and to focus on moving forward and improving.

Strategy #7: Managing Conflict 

Too often, conflict is interpreted in the negative. A workplace study on Conflict and Crisis reports that over 85% of workers experience workplace conflicts at different levels. And about the same percentage of employees spend an average of 2.8 hours weekly dealing with the differences.


The numbers, therefore, reveal that team conflict is inevitable in every work environment. Thus, project managers must develop strategies to deal with conflicts rather than avoid them. An experienced manager makes all the difference in determining the outcome of a conflict. If mismanaged, team conflicts can morph into personal disputes, absence from work, and low productivity. 

Whereas, when handled correctly, conflict can lead to increased creativity, improved communication, and stronger relationships among team members.

However, team members must understand how to constructively and respectfully manage disputes. This includes active listening, clear communication, and a willingness to compromise. By developing these skills, team members can turn conflicts into opportunities for learning and growth rather than allowing them to escalate into damaging disputes.

Ultimately, a team equipped to manage conflicts effectively is better positioned to achieve its goals and succeed in the long term. A recent study suggests that formal training in conflict management is critical for successful conflict resolution. Countries like the US and Brazil, with the highest levels of conflict management training, also report the most favorable outcomes from conflict. Conversely, the countries with the lowest training levels report the lowest positive effects. 

In theory, training becomes more effective when it involves psychometric tools and a better understanding of personality, which is the primary cause of workplace conflicts. The cost of managing a conflict can impact heavily on a project in many different ways. In extreme cases, team leads may have to deal with an extended project timeline or the loss of meaningful team members. However, with the right strategies, conflicts can be circumvented to engender understanding and create rapport between team members.

Strategy #8: Recognizing and Rewarding Achievements

Recognizing and rewarding achievements is also on the list of effective team management strategies. When team members feel their hard work and contributions are appreciated and valued, they are more likely to stay motivated and committed to the project.

There are many ways to recognize and reward achievements within a team. For example, a project manager could publicly identify team members during meetings or through a company-wide email. Other ways to recognize achievements include awards, bonuses, or promotions. 

Project managers need to recognize that different team members may be motivated by different types of recognition and rewards. For some team members, public recognition may be highly motivating, while others may be more motivated by monetary rewards or opportunities for career advancement. 

In addition to recognizing individual achievements, recognize and reward team accomplishments. When a team achieves a significant milestone or completes a project successfully, it is necessary to acknowledge all team member’s hard work and contributions. 

Recognizing and rewarding achievements effectively builds team morale, promotes motivation, and fosters a positive team culture. By identifying and rewarding accomplishments, project managers can create a work environment where team members feel valued and supported, leading to greater job satisfaction and improved project outcomes.



Effective team management is pivotal to achieving project success. As the project landscape evolves, project managers must prioritize both operational efficiency and the human dynamic. From building cohesive teams to fostering open communication, the highlighted strategies underscore the significance of addressing task- and people-oriented challenges.

Thought leaders and leading institutions reiterate the crucial role of adept team management. By valuing each team member’s unique contribution and fostering a collaborative environment, project managers can navigate complex tasks with agility and efficiency. 

Ultimately, the success of any project hinges on a balance between individual prowess and collective synergy.


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