How to Create Effective Teams for AEC & M Projects

Assemble the best team possible with these helpful tips.

In the world of architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing, knowing how to create effective teams is essential for collaborative design and successful projects. When teams of dedicated and capable professionals work together, they can make great things happen. 

But creating the ideal team goes beyond simply bringing in a collection of people with the right skills, personality traits, and experience. It’s also essential to ensure that team members are properly trained and have the tools they need to collaborate effectively.

In this article, we’ll explore these seven essential tips on how to create effective teams for AEC & M projects: 

  1. Assess potential members’ skills
  2. Provide project training
  3. Establish clear roles and responsibilities
  4. Set reasonable deadlines
  5. Utilize collaboration tools
  6. Encourage creative thinking
  7. Monitor progress and provide feedback

Let’s get started!

Assess potential members’ skills

Before you decide who belongs on a project team, you need to understand which employees have the right skills for the job. What software should they be proficient in? Who knows how to liaise with clients and contractors? Take stock of each potential team member’s knowledge and experience, as well as their ability to collaborate with others. 

If your organization uses Pinnacle Series, you can take advantage of our KnowledgeSmart integration to easily assess employees’ AEC & M skills and software proficiencies. By establishing this baseline before assembling a team, you can make sure that you’re bringing together the right combination of people — with the right mix of skills, knowledge, and experience — to complete the project successfully.

Provide project training

Once you’ve selected your team members, it’s important to provide them with the specific training they need to tackle the project. At minimum, that should include a detailed overview of the project’s requirements, as well as an introduction to any tools or processes they may need to use. If they are expected to use a new piece of software or a high-level feature in a tool they’ve used before, use a learning management solution like Pinnacle Series to make sure they have access to helpful courses and tutorials.

Your goal here is to make sure all team members have the same level of understanding of the project and its objectives, so they’ll be “speaking the same language” as they work together. This will reduce the confusion and frustration that can result from mismatched expectations. 

Establish clear roles and responsibilities

Another vital step to make sure everyone works together smoothly (and avoids butting heads) is to establish clear roles and responsibilities for each person on the team. Everyone should understand which individual tasks they’ll be expected to handle, as well as how their work will fit into the overall project.

Having job duties clearly defined also helps teams stay organized and on track. Each member will know exactly what they need to do, so they can focus their efforts where they’re most needed.

Set reasonable deadlines

Once you’ve broken down the project into its different assignable parts, the next step is to set reasonable deadlines for completing each task. Deadlines should take into account the team’s available resources and their ability to complete the task on time. Reasonable deadlines can help keep the team on track without creating too much stress and worry about completing the project on time. 

Utilize collaboration tools

Especially if you’re working with distributed teams, it’s important to provide them with the tools they need to collaborate effectively. Do they have a designated place to share project information, ask and answer questions, and brainstorm together?

In Pinnacle Series, our version of this is called Work Groups. When you create a project-specific group, you can add all relevant users (plus external contractors) so they can start using it as their central project knowledge hub. Learn more about what you can do in Work Groups here.

Encourage creative thinking

People aren’t just algorithms where you plug in all the related information and they spit out the desired output. Creative thinking is one of our greatest assets as humans: it offers the ability to innovate and come up with better solutions to problems.

There are a few things you can do to foster an environment in which creativity can flourish. Make sure your team includes members from different backgrounds, demographics, and areas of expertise. Provide resources to help them research new ideas, encourage them to brainstorm in an open and collaborative environment, and give them dedicated time and space to explore new concepts.

Monitor progress and provide feedback

Finally, it’s important to have at least one project manager or “point person” who can monitor the progress of the project and provide feedback to team members as needed. This person can make sure the project is staying on track and suggest ways to pivot when challenges arise. Feedback works best when it can go both ways: make sure your team feels welcome to share their thoughts and suggestions too.

Learning how to create effective teams is crucial. With the right team in place, your organization’s AEC & M projects can be completed on time, on or under budget, and with great results. Schedule a demo or free trial with us to see how Pinnacle Series can fit into your project plans!

If you’re already a subscriber, log in now to explore features like our Work Groups that can help streamline your project management process.



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