Will Your Project Team Get The Job Done?

Order Cialis Soft Over The Counter By Bob McGannon

The formation of dedicated teams to accomplish business or technical projects is viewed as a prudent way to achieve the aggressive business objectives managers face today. A key indicator of the potential success of these teams is the way the team is formulated and launched. A large number of managers do not know how to perform this critical skill, resulting in teams that start off on shaky ground and face an uphill battle.

You are given the opportunity to manage a portion of the business that requires significant improvement, or needs to innovate to maintain the edge necessary to stay on top. Critical projects need to be launched to accomplish your goals and ensure you demonstrate the progress you require. So, you pick your finest resources, call a meeting, describe the objectives you envision, and stay out of the way, right? Wrong  this is an error made by many managers wishing to ìempowerî their project teams, but often leads to a floundering group of frustrated employees.  To improve the probability of success, the astute manager will ensure the team is built and launched appropriately.

A model for this process is to utilize the  Purchase generic Cialis Soft SHAPED team model.  buy Cialis Soft 20 mg Canada SHAPED is an acronym for

buy Cialis Soft Italy Share a common objective
Order Cialis Soft 20 mg cheap Having rules and accountability
generic Cialis Soft 20 mg Buy online Agreed to milestones and performance criteria
Pursuit of a common working approach
Evolve high levels of complementary skills
Directed by an equipped team leader

Share a common objective
Carefully selected team members are critical. In addition, the purpose of the team not only should be articulated to the team, but each member should be able to discuss this purpose with you with confidence and complete understanding. Also, the ability of the team members to share this objective is vital. As much as this is viewed as an obvious element for a successful team, it is often overlooked. Do the team members you have assembled report to a management structure that will allow them to easily share a common objective? Are there personality dynamics between team members that will need to be addressed directly prior to launching the team? An initial evaluation of the conviction to achieve the objective, as well as periodic revalidation of this conviction, is a strategic means to ensure success.

Having rules and accountability
Highly effective teams benefit from established relationships amongst its members. Successful relationships, be they a marriage, the interaction between employee and supervisor, or between members of a team, are more fruitful when agreed to rules are established. Likewise, responsibilities that are delineated for the participants in a relationship yield more consistent results.

The rules for how the team operates is a topic that is frequently overlooked.  The time spent on establishing and reaching consensus on these rules enhances the fundamental relationships between team members  a critical success factor for team synergy and success.  In addition, establishing rules, sticking to them, and challenging each other to stick to them increases team productivity that far outweighs the effort in establishing and reviewing the team rules.  Accountability for sticking to the rules, and producing the desired outcomes should also be discussed in advance. What will be the result of achieving the objectives? What will be the result for team members who do not meet their deadlines? How will the team know this, and how can they rally as a team to assist struggling team members? How do we ensure the team remains focused on the objectives?  Discussing these concerns in advance creates a mood and success oriented approach that will bond a team and drive it towards its goals.

Agreed to milestones and performance criteria
Milestones are a critical part of a project plan, though are often overlooked as a means of incenting and rewarding a team. The use of milestones to recognize teams  – even if is just a ìpat on the backî or an announcement of the accomplishment in the company newsletter, can motivate a team to continued, or expedited, success.

Another means of improving the probability of team success is to establish team performance criteria. Managers usually focus on performance criteria for individuals, but overlook the benefits of putting forth the same effort in working with a team. Engaging the performance planning activity for teams in the same fashion as applied to individuals can help ensure that teams understand the requirements of the sponsor, and business objectives they are expected to fulfill.

Will Your Project Team Get The Job Done? (cont)

Pursuit of a common working approach
Interactions between team members, as well as between the team, management, and other stakeholders in team results, should be discussed and agreed to, similar to the team operational rules. How will the team be structured? Subteams? Independent experts tapped for input? Brainstorming? Affiliation with business functions? Affiliation with technical disciplines? All of the above? An end-to-end discussion on how the team will engage and produce their end results will not only improve the probability of team success, but could possibly inspire greater efficiencies or breakthrough results. Roles of the team members in this exercise should be discussed, not as a static event, but as a changing dynamic that will be of greatest benefit to the team at different stages in the project. This encourages team members to understand when their expertise and leadership will be critical, reinforcing their purpose and value to the team.

Evolve high levels of complementary skills
Many managers mistake the compilation of a highly effective team as an exercise in grouping the highest performers in an organization. This is not the way to maximize success in a team. The creation of a highly effective team is best done by bringing together team members that have the most complementary characteristics. People that are accustomed to working as a team rather than individually, plus people who have the ability to ìtake overî when the team progress reaches or exploits their area of expertise make the best team members. A mixture of approaches (more radical thinkers vs. conservative ones) and characteristics (those who dive right in vs. those who are more deliberate and consider more options) can actually make the best team. These mixed teams need more care and guidance initially, but will yield the greatest overall results as they exploit their diversity. Creating teams made up in this way, plus having employees that are accustomed to working on teams made up in this fashion, maximize success not only for the existing team, but future teams as well.

Directed by an equipped team leader
Another myth in creating a highly effective team is to make all team members ìequalsî and not assign an individual as a team leader. Highly effective teams have the common characteristic of a team leader that is

    • a) Empowered and informed by the sponsoring management 

      b) A strong leader who knows when to direct the team as well as knows when to back off and let the team dynamics and knowledge transfer run its course

      c) Not the technical expert in all aspects of the deliverable to be produced.

The team leader role is arguably the most difficult role to fill in creating a team. Individuals with these characteristics are in high demand, and to be assigned to a team, often must have other assignments reprioritized.  Managers should resist the temptation to make the team leadership role a part time one, forcing these highly valued employees to juggle multiple projects.  Encourage these team leaders to work with their team, recognizing them for their empowerment and direction of the team, as well as the production of the deliverables themselves. A team leader that leads teams that produce results, as well as encourages and educates team members, creates behaviors and capabilities that are repeatable  a critical element for team success.

Creating teams that are appropriately SHAPED involves an investment of time and energy on the part of sponsoring management that is scarce. However, the effort put forth in this manner will enhance project team success today and in the months and years to come. Thus, it is not only a worthwhile, but is a critical strategy for todayís increasingly competitive environment.

Bob McGannon is a Founder and Principal of MINDAVATION.

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