A project team is a group of people who have been tasked with collectively completing a project. These individuals could come from the same or different departments or entities and may or may not be devoted to the project on a full-time basis. Each team member typically has a specific set of deliverables that will help the team complete the project. Project teams can exist within companies, non-profit organizations, or groups of stakeholders working toward a common goal.
The individual members of a project team might work for the same entity or could be drawn from various entities. One company might have a dedicated special projects department whose employees manage projects for all areas of the company; another company might form project teams by pulling workers with different necessary skills from a variety of departments. For example, a process improvement team might consist of a project manager from operations, an accountant from finance, and a programmer from IT.
When project teams draw from a variety of departments, it is referred to as a "cross-functional" team. A cross-functional project team is often called a committee, particularly in nonprofit settings. The intent of a cross-functional team is to strengthen the overall skill set of the team by bringing in members with varying skills, ideas, and areas of expertise.
In some industries, virtually every job requires the creation of a project team. This is especially true of construction and IT consulting. For every new project, a construction company will likely assign an estimator, a project manager, and a field supervisor. Large construction companies might also assign someone to manage the paperwork and permit applications, and someone else to track project costs and billing.
An IT consulting project team might be comprised of a sales person, a project manager, a developer, and a trainer. Depending on the complexity of the project, a graphic designer, web developer, or accountant may also be involved. In such a situation, the client might also have a project team committed to ensuring proper job completion on its end. This might include members of the client’s IT, operations, and accounting departments.
More complex collaborative efforts might involve team members from different companies or agencies. For example, a neighborhood beautification team might be comprised of individuals from local businesses, a homeowners’ association, and the local government. Regardless of where the project team members come from, the goal is the same: to complete the project successfully.