As usual, I have some thoughts and opinions - coming from experience, logic and observation - that result in my personal list of four key tips to keep your project teams focused on the end goal.
Pay them well and timely. This may apply more to consulting situations but consultants are people, too. Your PM staffs and supporting team members - pay them well. Trust me, keeping the good ones around - and you know who they are and they know who they are - is very important to the success of your projects, the satisfaction of your project clients and the financial viability of your company.
Engage them as early as possible. You want an accountable and motivated project team? Get them assigned as early as possible to the projects. They cam assist the project manager inearly project planning and even take part in project kickoff. And the sooner the customer sees a full team the better.
Use their proper skill set. Use your team members well for the skills you know they have as well as the skills they want to acquire. But don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole. it will only frustrate them and make them fail. You want them to own the project and their tasks and be accountable. Misusing them won't make that happen.
Don't favor the most experienced. Finally, don't favor the most skilled. It's easy to rely on the most reliable. But that burns out the best and leaves the rest feeling resentful and underutilized. They will also feel less and less ownership of tasks and accountability to the project.
Summary / call for input
The well focused and well informed team will be the most motivated and ready to work on productively on your projects. Money helps, too. And that translates into more successful project engagements.
Readers - please share your thoughts on this list. Based on your own experiences leading projects, what would you add or change?