A high-performance team can either make a break a project. We’re discussing the tools you need to have a great dynamic team. All lessons are based on the PMBOK®, 7th Edition.
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I want a high team. We all want a high-project team, right? Wait, what are you thinking? I mean we need people who are competent and know what they are doing. Even if these people are new to the job, or industry, you need to have certain factors within your team to help them perform their best. What i mean is that we want a high-performing project team.
One of the things is open communication. It’s not just having an open door policy but also make sure that the communication is safe. What do I mean by safe? No berating people even if you are frustrated, no yelling, being respectful and also keeping confidential information to yourself as long as it won’t hurt the project, or people.
Part of having open communication is having a shared understanding of the project. Not only about the project but the project's benefits so everyone knows what they are working towards. When the team understands what’s going on, on the project, they will feel a sense of shared ownership because the project outcome will reflect on them.
Trust…trust is a big one. They need to not only trust you but the people they work with. Imagine working with someone that always finds a way to throw you under the bus when you make a mistake just to look favorably to leadership. You’ll never want to work with them again, or you are always watching your back. Hell, you may try to retaliate and do the same thing. Now your whole team is working like they are in the Hunger Games. Believe it or not, your project will take longer to complete, which will run the budget higher because you are busy breaking up fights. Find a way for the team to trust each other and it’s a better project experience.
Another one is collaboration. Collaboration happens when the team trusts each other, has open communication, and understands the project. See what I just did? Yeah, these things all work together. Your team is more likely to work together to find answers if they trust each other versus working in silos.
Adaptability. Now, this one can be hard because not everyone is quick to adapt to working environments but if you have open communication, yeah, I did it again, you can always give your team any heads up of potential changes to lessen any surprises. And now they trust you even more.
Resilience…this one is where you have to be a cheerleader and have a good group of people. Projects fail. Parts of a project fail. Something that you’ve been working on for 2 years, you find out that it’s not going to work, or they pull funding. That can make any project team cry. But then we got put on our adult underwear and keep it moving. That is a great team. They get knocked down but get up again. 5 points if you can name that song and artist.
There is also making the team feel empowered to make decisions about the way they work. These team members work better than those who are micromanaged. Micromanaging is proven not to work, you team resents you and now you have a problem. Yes, as a project manager you need to know a little bit about everything but your subject matter experts know much more than you. At the end of the day, you need them to deliver on a particular thing. Let them figure out how to do it. When you do that, you are showing that you trust them. Ha, I bought it back again!
When it’s all said and done, recognize your team member for all the effort they they put into the project. Not just at the end but along the journey. Simple acts like acknowledging their birthday, not celebrating everyone’s birthday that is in July, or lunch can make a difference. When I worked in advertising, there was this one art director that was great but also not very communitive. I asked him what was his favorite thing in a casual conversation and he mentioned there was a pie from the deli that he likes but it’s hard to find. Now these pies are not expensive, it’s like cheap mini pies that you will see at the front counter. But they didn’t sell them as often. Anytime I passed a deli, I would check to see if they sold it and I finally found one and brought it to him. He couldn’t believe that I I remembered the pie and found it. And ever since then, no matter what I asked, even if it was last minute or maybe crazy, he would always accommodate me. I made other people mad because he would push their work to do mine. But I established trust and had great communication with him and recognized all the help that he has done for me. Recognization isn’t just buying something. It’s could be just giving a shout-out to leadership on the great work they did.
If you take these nuggets, you can create a high-performing team that sees you as a great project leader.
That is your PMP in a Snap. We’ll see you again next week.