Proper Behaviors of Project Team Members


Series on Project Management for Team Members
Article 2

By Prof Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Milan, Italy


This is the second article of the series: Project Management for Team Members (aka Project Followership). In this article we will explore the key behaviors that project team members should implement while participating in projects.

We are aware that there are still organizations and projects where team members must simply do what they are told to do and nothing more. In those settings, fully applying Project Followership is not easy.

However, we are witnessing a dramatic reduction of these types of organizations and projects. The evident increase in complexity and uncertainty, and the need for speed that many projects are asked to comply with, are no longer suitable for one-man-show paradigms where analysis and decision-making are centralized in a single or few persons and where passive and execution-only team members are a good fit. Today team members still have to be good executors but they are also asked to make more and more decisions and to share part of the leadership efforts.


Based on the trends we have seen both in organizations (leadership and followership, shared leadership, boundary spanning, proactive behaviors) and in project management (mainly agile and lean project management) we have identified six main behaviors that an effective team member should adopt.

The first one is Global Vision. Global vision is the ability to construct and maintain an overview of the project and to understand how one’s decisions and behaviors influence other tasks, people, and the project as a whole. Having a global vision allows people to make better decisions and to have better relationships with the team members. In fact, the more a person has a 360° view of the project, the more they are able to understand how their decisions fit with the rest of the project and to understand the perspectives and the needs of the other team members. Let us consider the following example.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: This paper is an update and supplement to the paper: Project Followership: How Project Team Members Can Contribute to Project Success. PM World Journal, Vol. III, Issue X – October 2014. Moreover, this paper is largely based on Chapter 2 of the book: Sampietro, M., Villa, T.; Empowering Project Teams. Using Project Followership to Improve Performance, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.



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]

To see other works by Marco Sampietro, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/marco-sampietro/