A team contract, often known as a team charter, is an essential tool that defines team culture, purpose, roles, and accountabilities. It sets the ground rules for team engagement and provides a framework for resolving conflicts.

Example: In a software development project, the team contract might specify roles (developers, testers, project manager), work flow, working hours, quality standards, scheduled meetings, communication channels, and the decision-making process.

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2. Social Contract

While the team contract lays out the working aspects, a social contract focuses on how team members treat each other. It outlines the behavior expected within the team. It adds an emotional dimension to the team’s engagement, building trust, respect, and strong interpersonal relationships.

Example: A social contract might include rules about respecting others’ ideas, encouraging positive feedback, ensuring punctuality in meetings, handling disagreements constructively, maintaining an open and honest communication policy, and fostering a positive workplace environment.

Team Contracts Social Contracts
Focuses on work-related aspects Addresses interpersonal relationships
Defines roles, tasks, and responsibilities Encourages positive team behavior
Outlines procedures and processes Promotes respect, trust, and open communication
Helps determine the course of action Aims to build cohesive, productive team

3. Reward System

A reward system can significantly drive team members’ performance through motivation. By acknowledging individual and team accomplishments, project managers can incentivize desired behavior, improve team morale, enhance commitment, and drive productivity.

There are several reward mechanisms to consider:

  • Individual Rewards: Based on individual contributions, they motivate personal efforts and innovation. This can be in the form of pay raises, bonuses or public recognition.
  • Team Rewards: As the name suggests, these are given to the whole team for achieving a team goal or milestone. Team outings or luncheons can serve as excellent team rewards.
  • Non-monetary Rewards: These are non-financial incentives such as appreciation emails, certificates, skill development training, etc.

Example: A project manager could set up a reward system where each team member receives points for tasks completed, objectives achieved, or innovative solutions proposed. These points could then be redeemed for various rewards, promoting a sense of achievement and encouraging continued efforts.

Effective implementation of team contracts, social contracts, and reward system can significantly inspire, motivate, and influence team members and stakeholders. They form an essential part of project management, a fact emphasized in the PMP exam. Future project managers will do well to understand and apply these tools in practice to lead successful project teams.

Practice Test

True/False: Inspiring, motivating, and influencing team members and stakeholders is not a key responsibility for a PMP-certified project manager.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Project managers need to effectively inspire, motivate, and influence team members and stakeholders to achieve project objectives.

True/False: A social contract in a project team is essential for encouraging a positive and productive team environment.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: A social contract in a project team sets out the behavior expected from team members, promoting a positive and productive team environment.

Multiple select: Which of the following are essential for a project manager to be able to inspire, motivate and influence team members and stakeholders?

  • a) Confidence
  • b) Communication skills
  • c) Technical expertise
  • d) Ability to deliver bad news

Answer: a, b, d

Explanation: While a project manager’s technical expertise is important, the ability to inspire, motivate and influence others heavily relies on confidence, clear communication and skillful handling of adverse situations.

True/False: A reward system is not necessary as long as the team is adequately inspired and motivated.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: A reward system can further enhance motivation and performance by acknowledging and rewarding excellent work.

Single select: In a project management context, what is a team contract primarily used for?

  • a) Defining the team’s objectives
  • b) Outlining behavioral expectations
  • c) Setting deadlines for project tasks
  • d) Documenting the project budget

Answer: a

Explanation: A team contract primarily outlines the objectives and expectations of the team, although it might also include behaviors, roles, and responsibilities.

True/False: The use of influence in project management is only useful when dealing with stakeholders.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Influence is useful not only with stakeholders but also with team members to guide them towards project objectives.

Single select: What is a key element in motivating team members?

  • a) Providing regular feedback
  • b) Increasing workload
  • c) Holding frequent meetings
  • d) Reducing pay

Answer: a

Explanation: Providing regular and constructive feedback keeps team members informed about their performance, helping motivate them and improve their productivity.

Multiple select: When it comes to motivating a team, what are the 3 primary factors?

  • a) Recognition
  • b) Good Communication
  • c) Pressure
  • d) Respect

Answer: a, b, d

Explanation: Recognition, good communication, and respect are crucial factors in maintaining a motivated and productive team.

True/False: A project manager should only rely on one single method to inspire, motivate, and influence team members or stakeholders.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: A good project manager uses a variety of techniques based on individual needs and the team’s dynamics.

Single select: The most effective reward system in a project team is one that emphasizes:

  • a) Competitive rewards
  • b) Monetary rewards
  • c) Public humiliation for non-performers
  • d) Recognition for contribution

Answer: d

Explanation: Recognition for contribution is seen as more motivating to team members as it values their effort and reinforces positive behavior.

Interview Questions

What is a team contract in project management?

A team contract is a written agreement among team members that outline the roles and responsibilities of each individual, procedures for resolving conflicts, expectations, and goals. It serves to ensure everyone understands what is expected from them, and serves as a foundation for managing team behaviors and outcomes.

How does a social contract contribute to a project team?

A social contract in project management sets up expectations for team behavior and promotes a positive social environment. It encourages respectful and open communication, a collective commitment to project goals, and a collaborative working environment, thereby improving team performance and productivity.

What is the role of a reward system in project management?

A reward system in project management is designed to motivate, engage, and appreciate team members for their contributions to the project. It can increase the performance and productivity of the team, help attract and retain talent, and foster a positive workplace environment.

How can a project manager inspire and motivate team members?

A project manager can inspire and motivate team members by setting clear expectations and goals, recognizing and appreciating their work, providing constructive feedback, creating a positive working environment, and providing opportunities for career development and growth.

How can a project manager influence stakeholders?

A project manager can influence stakeholders by building strong relationships with them, understanding their needs and concerns, communicating regularly and transparently about project progress, risks, and challenges, and involving them in the decision-making process.

What is the impact of a well-structured team contract on project success?

A well-structured team contract can greatly contribute to project success as it clarifies roles and responsibilities, sets expectations for performance and behavior, prevents conflict situations, encourages open communication, and fosters a sense of commitment to the project.

How can the use of social contracts influence team members’ productivity?

The use of social contracts can improve team member’s productivity by setting clear rules for interaction, collaborating effectively, respecting each other’s viewpoints, and creating a positive and supportive work environment.

What elements should an effective reward system for a project team include?

An effective reward system should include recognition for individual and team accomplishments, incentives for going above-and-beyond, opportunities for professional development, career advancement options, and financial rewards.

What strategies can be used to inspire a project team?

Strategies to inspire a project team include setting and communicating compelling project goals, leading by example, fostering a supportive and positive work environment, recognizing and appreciating good work, and encouraging continuous learning and improvement.

Why is it important to influence stakeholders in managing a project?

Influencing stakeholders is important as it can secure their support and resources, facilitate decision-making, mitigate risks, ensure alignment with project goals, and ultimately contribute to the successful delivery of the project.

How can a project manager use a team contract to aid conflict resolution?

A team contract can aid conflict resolution by providing a clear guideline on roles and responsibilities, expected behaviors, and procedures for addressing conflicts. This helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures fair resolution of conflicts.

How does a social contract promote a collaborative environment within a project team?

A social contract promotes a collaborative environment by setting standards for respectful communication, encouraging teamwork, fostering trust, and promoting mutual respect among team members.

What factors are important to consider when designing a reward system for a project team?

When designing a reward system, it’s important to consider factors like fairness, relevance to performance, timeliness, and inclusivity, to ensure it is effective in motivating and engaging team members.

How does an inspiring and motivational leadership style benefit a project?

An inspiring and motivational leadership style can boost team morale, encourage innovation, increase productivity, facilitate collaboration and cohesion, and ultimately drive project success.

Why is it essential for a project manager to influence team members positively?

Positive influence from a project manager helps to enhance team performance, encourage compliance with project rules and standards, foster a positive and cooperative work environment, and increase engagement and motivation toward achieving project goals.

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