Project teams are the building blocks of any organization. They are responsible for finishing tasks in a timely manner while meeting the expectations of the company.
From HR to sales to marketing, there is hardly any function which is not carried out by teams. So why do project managers face difficulties in managing different projects and finish the tasks assigned?
Leading a team efficiently throughout the project cycle can be an extremely challenging task. With different temperaments and backgrounds, clashes can be hard to avoid if you are not careful enough. Dysfunctional team dynamics can not only create problems in completing tasks but also reduces the overall efficiency and productivity of your team. Read on to know how you can avoid the most common workplace issues and help your team perform to their maximum potential.
Invest in your team members
As a project manager, your team members are your biggest assets, and are irreplaceable when it comes to fulfilling your project goals. Their performance is key for your work quality and your reputation in the company. Therefore, you should focus on their training skills. To begin with, figure out the current skill gaps that your employees have. Shortlist resources that require professional training from your team. If you are looking to expand your team, it will be beneficial to go beyond the degree and focus on what they bring to the team. The best way to do that is to hire people who have relevant skills and experience for your project.
A tool can help you assess the skill levels of all your resources. It can also give better visibility on the responsibilities and the time assigned to each of the resources in your projects. Tools with high level Gantt charts can help you make changes easily, thus generating customisable reports for each of your stakeholders.
Plan your team effectively
Exceptional teams have precise knowledge of all the deliverables throughout the complete project cycle. As a project manager, you should communicate clearly with each and every team about what is expected from them. Having said that, one-on-one communication may be difficult to manage when there are multiple teams and members to manage. A resource management software can help you delineate tasks for every team member and plan tasks that are on priority.
Before assigning tasks to the different team members, verify that your team is not stretched too thinly with responsibilities. Listen to any queries that your team members may have. Be available for discussions and offer solutions for any issues that they may be having. Keep track of your team members by reviewing their work at regular intervals of the project cycle. Your team members will also feel encouraged if you provide feedback on their work.
Set realistic goals for the project
In order to lead your teams better, all members should have a clear idea of the project goals. At the project initiation stage, initiate a goal-setting process, where everyone has a clear idea of the project milestones. The company’s profits are bound to improve when all team members are aware of and aligned with the organization’s goals. With clear and precise goals, it is easier for the workers to finish their tasks easily, and for you to measure their progress accordingly.
To keep your team running smoothly, understand the limits of your team. Ensure that your team members are acquainted with the goals set for the team. Too many tasks can force your team members to cut corners, thus increasing the likelihood of reduced work quality. Before taking up projects, make sure you have enough time and resources to complete them. Moreover, break the project into attainable tasks so that it becomes easier for team members to follow up and complete them on time.
Reduce meetings to a minimum
Meetings are one of the biggest causes of time losses in organizations. Discourage holding meetings unless absolutely required. The hassle of finding a common time frame for the meeting, along with fixing the meeting room and other requirements is bound to eat up time for anyone planning for the meeting. In case you have to hold a meeting, be clear on the agenda and make it goal-oriented.
Many employees also feel that they are pushed into meetings where they have nothing significant to contribute. Therefore, as a good measure, fix meetings with only the specific team members who are involved in the project. A well-structured meeting can get you the best results in the least amount of time. As a project manager, you can take the lead and not let the attendees stray away from the agenda of the meeting. You can also be innovative and arrange a standing or walking meeting, so as to remain productive and keep it concise.
Recognize your best performers and reward them
Everyone likes being appreciated for their work. A positive way to build goodwill in your team is to recognize the good performers in the team. Be mindful of employees who are consistently delivering work on time, or are going the extra mile to finish tasks. Team members who have contributed to build the teamwork and improve functionality are people you should keep close. Do remember to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts. The award ceremony will also inspire other team members to improve their performance in projects.
Arrange for spot awards and employee of the month awards at the end of the project cycle. You can also club the event with a team-building activity. Being recognized also helps team members feel inspired to work with you. A supportive team can help you complete more projects and achieve annual goals.
With a healthy workforce culture, you can get the best out of your team. Treat each of your resources as individuals and make sure that they are not overburdened with work at any time A supportive environment that encourages creativity and innovation, can be helpful for different teams to achieve their goals.
What is helping you ensure your team stays productive? Let us know in the comments below.
Aakash Gupta heads the Business Sales wing at Saviom. As the chief consultant on enterprise resource management and workforce planning solutions, his publications have helped project experts redefine business efficiency. Reach out to him here to know more.