5 Tips for Building More Effective Teamson 4 April 2018
Businesses rely on teamwork. Getting your staff work together effectively can make all the difference when it comes to getting work done on time, on budget and to standard. Teams can also be a wonderful way to bring together different specialties and make the work more interesting. Alternatively, though, they can result in disorganisation or lost time that people find frustrating. Here are ways to create teams that will work well together and efficiently get work done.
One of the first ways group projects go wrong is having the wrong number of people. There can be a tendency to include everyone related to the point where the team is too big. Large groups mean more time wasted and the number of people involved can make it hard to hold individual members accountable. Equally, some members of the team may feel uninvolved while others receive all the attention. Keeping team size down and focused is a great way of increasing accountability while getting key members working more closely together. Whether they are collaborating online or working shoulder to shoulder on a project, each team member needs to know that their voice counts.
Combining different backgrounds and area of expertise will help your team have the broad ranges of skills needed for the project. This may be contrary to the first instinct to combine people who are similar into a team. While that may seem like the best way to have everyone get along, having more diversity is likely to lead to better results for the project. If the team is working on something that needs to be accepted by the rest of the company, diversity can result in solutions that work better for everyone and are more likely to be accepted.
There needs to be a good balance in the amount of communication. Too little communication can have team members going off in different directions. Too much communication can result in too much time lost. With the Glasscubes solution, all communications are visible to the whole team, doing away with the need for repetition while ensuring that every team member knows each other’s status at all times.
For geographically distant team members, smart collaboration software is crucial. Where meetings are required, make sure that they have clear objectives that are communicated to the team before getting started. Where necessary, even place time limits on those meetings – 15 minutes is normally more than enough time for most issues to be explained, clarified and resolved with input from key members.
A team without clear goals can quickly become a social hour or a home to frustration. It is important that everyone in the team is on the same page with regards to what is to be accomplished, along with a timeframe for completion. Set clear project milestones to help keep the team on track as together you mark your progress. This helps maintain the team’s momentum while giving everyone the chance to each other’s ongoing contributions. Honouring milestones as they are met helps to provide everyone in the team with a sense of accomplishment. Use it as an opportunity to show appreciation for everyone’s hard work and what the team has been able to achieve. This can keep team members motivated and upbeat about the project as a whole.
Especially where projects require department cross-over, it’s easy for crucial tasks to simply be tagged on to other assignments. What happens when individuals have to decide to prioritise unrelated jobs that can both be equally important to the objectives of the company? One or more tasks will invariably be late or rushed, and team members may become overworked or underappreciated.
It’s important, then, to resource projects carefully from the initial phase. As a business leader, it’s easy to feel under pressure to minimise spending, but if each individual task that is necessary for project completion is not given its proper due, any savings will only be made as part of a false economy. Instead, map out the task assignments for a project from the start, being generous with time allocation so that jobs can always be completed properly, minimising any risk of error.
By better understanding the limits of our teams, we can better harness their full potential.
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