What is team management ?

Team management in project management involves leading a group of individuals to collaboratively complete a specified task or project. This could encompass anything from constructing a website to developing a novel product.

The team manager bears the responsibility of ensuring each member comprehends their roles and possesses the necessary tools to execute their tasks effectively.

When a team member encounters challenges with their work, the manager intervenes to help them devise a solution. The manager also helps to resolve any interpersonal conflicts that may arise within the team, thereby promoting a cooperative and productive working environment.

Moreover, the manager continuously monitors the project's progress to ensure it aligns with set timelines. If the project falls behind schedule, the manager devises strategies to accelerate the workflow and keep things on track.

In essence, team management is the process of guiding a team to collaborate efficiently, ensuring the project is completed punctually and to a high standard.

Why do we manage it ?

As with most managed areas, teams are managed because not doing so invites disaster:

Poor Communication: communication can break down, leading to confusion, misunderstandings, and mistakes. This also spikes alternative communication methods like the phone and the email.

Missed Deadlines: team members may not complete their tasks on time, which could lead to missed project deadlines. This is not to say that we should adhere to Theory X, so take care!

Lack of Team Cohesion: conflicts might not be resolved in a timely manner, which can cause a breakdown in team unity and morale. A common cause of conflict is “I thought that was their task or job, not mine”.

Low Quality of Work: if team members are not guided and monitored correctly, the quality of their work can suffer, affecting the overall quality of the project. This is not about micromanagement, but instead, “quality” should mean “appropriate for the project’s requirements”.

Resource Mismanagement: without good team management, resources may not be allocated or utilized effectively, leading to waste or shortages.

High Turnover Rate: poorly managed teams may lead to higher levels of job dissatisfaction, potentially causing team members to leave, which can disrupt the project and increase costs.

Misalignment with Project Goals: without clear guidance from the manager, team members might lose sight of the project's objectives and work towards irrelevant or conflicting goals.

Inefficient Workflow: In the absence of proper management, workflows may not be streamlined and people might “reinvent the wheel” instead of using documented workflows that just work.

Burnout: without a good manager to balance workloads and manage stress, team members may become overworked, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. It’s not a surprise that burnout is a common effect when various areas of projects are mismanaged.

Poor Risk Management: potential project risks might not be identified or mitigated in time, leading to crises that could have been avoided. When team members do not feel confident or empowered to participate in identifying and owning Risks, the project suffers immensely.

How does Graceful Efforts do it ?

The project team starts with inviting some (or all) of your Collaborators to a project. When you do so, you can specify the role they might have inside the project, which serves to clarify your expectations from them.

After a Collaborator is invited to a project, they become a project Team Member. This means they can now be responsible for parts of the project.

Delegate Project Manager: the project Owner can delegate a team member as project manager. This means that team member has access to all the information about the project and can do anything with it, just like the project Owner. This helps a project owner work on multiple projects.

Work Package Owner: sometimes, Deliverables need to be grouped. Perhaps they should be passed to an outside contractor, or perhaps they should all conform to the same quality criteria. It’s simpler then to allow one person to be responsible for them. This person can then mark Deliverables as finished (or not finished) and can better report to the Delegated Project Manager or to the Project Owner.

Task Owner: the most basic responsibility of a team member. Once someone performs work for a task, they can (and should) update the task with the number of worked hours. In time, this will create a heatmap of the team’s hours at the Task level, Work Package level, Stage level and Project level. By marking a Task as blocked, a team member will draw the Project Owner’s or the Delegate Project Manager’s attention to it.

Collection Item Owner: this is the build-your-own-feature functionality. The Project Owner or Delegate Project Manager can define their own Collections for each project, modeling things like Risks, Meetings, Travel, Bugs and so on, using building blocks like “name”, “date”, “status”, “requires approval by PM” and so on.

Team member page: this page lists the team member’s role, what part of the project they are responsible for, and all items they own.


The project Owner can delegate most parts of the projects to team members. This has the benefit of also shifting accountability to those team members, hopefully accompanied by the authority to handle things as they need.

Just as the project Owner breaks the project down into its components and delegates them to the team, the team, in turn, composes a bottom-up view of the project’s progress and blockers that the project Owner can then use to bring the project back on course.

Optional (advanced) features

Task autonomy: normally, this setting is enabled. It allows everyone to add tasks as they see fit. In projects where tighter control is required, this setting can be disabled, so that only the project Owner, the Delegated Project Manager and the Work Package Owner can manage tasks.

Manage team > Hourly rate: when adding a Collaborator to a project or at any time afterwards, the project Owner can assign an hourly rate to that team member. This means that if the Cost management setting is enabled for the project, the application will automatically compute how much each team member is owed according to their logged work hours.

Manage team > View financial information: when adding a Collaborator to a project or at any time afterwards, the project Owner can allow a team member to view the project’s financial information. For this to work, the Cost management setting needs to be enabled for the project.


Team cost type: if the Cost management setting is enabled for the project, the team members’ logged hours are multiplied with their individual hourly rates and a report is created for the whole cost of the team’s work.

Work load: at the Stage and Work Package level, there is a section called “Work load”. It is a table with the following columns:

Work load > Team member name: self explanatory.

Work load > Planned daily: let’s say we’re looking at a Stage or a Work Package that is one week long. The team member has 5 tasks, each being 1 hour long. It follows then that the team member could work one hour a day and complete their tasks in this Stage or Work Package. This is a guiding number, and if the team member is working full-time for this project, the daily planned hours should not exceed 8 or the amount agreed upon in their contract.

Work load > Actual / Planned effort: the total number of hours logged by the team member in this Stage or Work Package, VS the total number of hours of all planned tasks for this team member in this Stage or Work Package. This serves as a guide to gauge how much work they have done or have left in this Stage or Work Package.

Work load > Actual / Planned cost: if the Cost management project setting is enabled and the team members have an hourly cost specified, this column shows how much their actual logged hours cost for this Stage or Work Package, VS the planned hours.

Work load > Status: same as Work load > Actual / Planned effort above, but expressed in percentages.

Work log: only visible to the project Owner and Delegated Project Manager, this is a record of worked hours by all team members at the Project, Stage and Work Package levels. This heatmap serves as a visual representation of the busiest periods of time for the whole team or for each team member.

Best practices

Give a very specific role to each team member when you invite them to the project. This will force you to clarify your own expectations and will allow the team member to understand what you want from them.

Visit a team member’s page whenever you want to understand their current load and whether they actually have time to work on new things.

To make sure all the reports are consistent, assign an hourly rate in the same currency you specified when you created the project.


The team management capabilities embedded within Graceful Efforts are robust tools that should be leveraged to foster a sense of responsibility among team members regarding different segments of the project. The platform enables individuals to oversee their specific roles and tasks, encouraging initiative and promoting an environment where each team member feels personally invested in the project's success.

Simultaneously, these features are designed to facilitate a continuous and efficient flow of information, completing the communication loop back to the project owner. This means that updates, progress reports, issues, and insights can be promptly shared and addressed. The project owner stays informed of every development, and can quickly intervene when necessary, keeping the project on track and maintaining overall coherence and unity in the team's efforts.

The feedback mechanisms within Graceful Efforts ensure that the project owner has a clear view of the project's status, enabling them to provide strategic guidance and to foster learning and improvement. This continual feedback loop cultivates an atmosphere of transparency and collaboration, fostering a proactive project environment where issues are swiftly addressed, victories are collectively celebrated, and lessons learned are applied towards future endeavors.

In essence, the team management features within Graceful Efforts serve a dual purpose: empowering team members to assume project ownership, and concurrently providing the project owner with comprehensive, real-time insights into the project's progress.