Leadership is the glue which binds a team together in its journey towards successful project execution in any organization. In this section, we try to focus on the role of a leader throughout the project lifecycle to underline the significance of the leader at different phases for the team. Leadership of a team has multiple dimensions and each phase of project execution brings a different aspect to the fore.
Leader of a team is typically the project manager assigned to execute the project by the organization initially. One of the foremost activity, the leader needs to do is understand the requirements of the project clearly and jot them down succinctly. (Pearce and Jay 2002, p89). The analysis of these requirements helps him visualize the kind of skills which he expects to have within his team members. Leaders in this phase must understand the vision, strategy and thought process of the senior management to undertake the project for the organization. They must envisage the risks, challenges, assumptions; dependencies etc. associated with project execution and proactively work to manage them right from the outset.
Having understood the requirements of the project, leaders get down to work and endeavour to create an overall resource plan with their expected duration of availability to the project to arrive at a high level schedule of project execution. In Organization Behaviour terminology, leaders are expected to conduct this planning independently as part of the Human Resource Planning Process.
The Human Resource Planning process mandates the leaders to prepare a project organization chart with an understanding of the number of resources and skills required to execute the project. It shall assist in creating a RACI (Responsibility, Accountability, Consult, and Inform) matrix for the project team members without any ambiguity (Kofman, et al. 2009, p11). Leader must create the staffing plan for the overall duration of the project execution. Good Leaders take into account past best practices, templates and company practices etc. in this process.