What Is Project Coaching?

Malcolm Tatum

Project coaching is a type of activity that is often associated with providing direction, encouragement, and inspiration to individuals who are involved in some type of work-related project. The purpose of the coaching is to aid team members in making constructive decisions about how to pursue project aims and goals by making the best use of all the resources available. As part of the process, the coaching activity also helps to inspire cohesiveness among the team members, an attribute that can often help minimize personality conflicts and allow the project to progress at an equitable pace.

The exact process used with project coaching will vary.
The exact process used with project coaching will vary.

The specifics of how project coaching takes place will vary, depending on the type of project involved and the individuals who make up the project team. A project coach will often begin by taking inventory of what each team member brings to the project and attempting to relate those skills and talents to the goals of the project itself. This activity provides the basis for helping to develop the operating structure for the team, aiding each member in finding a role that is beneficial to the project and makes the most of his or her talents. At the same time, the inventory can reveal possible conflicts or other factors that could create tension within the team, improving the chances of being able to diffuse those issues before they can affect the forward movement of the team’s efforts.

Project coaching is typically done with a small group of people.
Project coaching is typically done with a small group of people.

Within the scope of project coaching, the goal is to create a consensus on the role of each team member, so that each one feels a connection with the project and with one another. Defining responsibilities associated with each of those roles further helps to promote cohesiveness and communication within the team, as everyone knows who can help with which function. Creating a roadmap for the project, including checkpoints to assess progress and documenting the completion of essential tasks will also aid in strengthening the team dynamic and staying the course toward the achievement of the project goal.

The exact process used with project coaching will vary, depending on the duration and complexity of that project. In some cases, the process will require little in the way of oversight from the coach, allowing that individual to function more or less as a facilitator. At other times, the coach may take on a more supervisory role within the team, if the mindset and general group dynamic requires this type of leadership function. Project coaching may occur in just about any type of project that requires two or more people to complete, and is especially helpful when the project in question will take an extended amount of time to realize the desired goal.

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