Project Management for Team Members: Series Introduction


Project Management for Team Members

By Prof Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Milan, Italy

The Need for Project Management for Team Members

This is the first article in a series on “Project Management for Team Members”. While it is clear and obvious that team members contribute to project success, almost nothing has been written about the skills and behaviors that project team members should have in order to effectively and satisfactorily participate in a project environment.

At the end of 2015, some keyword searches were made on amazon.com to see how many project management books were available targeted at the main project participants: project managers, project sponsors, line managers and other executives, and team members. The results are summarized in Figure 1 where we have used a standard pyramid to qualitatively display the increasing number of people involved in projects based on their role. Of course project sponsors, functional managers and other executives are much less in number compared to project managers (normally they support many projects in parallel) while project team members are much more in number compared to project managers. Numbers on the right side of the pyramid indicate how many publications targeted at each project management role are available (on amazon.com).










Figure 1. Number of project management books by target audience.

It would be wrong to expect the number of publications to be proportional to the amount of people in each role since the focus of their work is different. For project sponsors, functional managers and other executives, supporting projects may occupy just a small percentage of their working time and responsibility, so it is not strange that only a small number of publications are targeted at them. For project managers the situation may vary. In some cases being project manager may be a person’s main role in an organization and consequently it may absorb a good deal of their total working time; in other cases being a project manager is more an exception than a rule, but even in this case the achieved project performance might have an impact on their career. For team members the situation is very similar to that of project managers, with the difference being that it is sometimes easier for team members to blame project managers for poor project performance than for project managers to blame project sponsors and other executives.

To summarize, it makes sense for publications targeted at project managers to be more in number compared to publications targeted at other project roles, but having just one publication[1] targeted at team members is, quite frankly, disappointing.


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 About the Author



Milan, Italy



Marco Sampietro obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Bremen, Germany. Since 2000 he has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top Business Schools in the world (Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Economist rankings). He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the MBA – Master of Business Administration, and GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration programs. He is Faculty Member at MISB – Mumbai International School of Business, the Indian subsidiary of Bocconi University, and Visiting Professor at IHU – International Hellenic University, Greece. He is also a Contract Professor at Bocconi University and Milano Fashion Institute for the Project Management courses.

He was a speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, in the USA, and a speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, Italy, 2010.

He is Member of the Steering Committee of IPMA-Italy.

He is co-author and/or editor of 10 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Among them: Empowering Project Teams. Using Project Followership to Improve Performance. CRC Press, 2014. Finally, he is the author of award-winning case studies and papers.

Dr. Sampietro can be contacted at: [email protected]

[1] Sampietro, M. Villa, T. (foreword by Russell D. Archibald). Empowering Project Teams: Using Project Followership to Improve Performance. CRC Press, 2014.