Build, Manage, and Motivate!
Helpful tips that project mangers can start using today.
1. Choosing Your Team:
A project manager has a lot to consider when choosing a team. Think of the show Charlie’s Angels. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite shows and I absolutely love the movie! Now, Charlie, the CEO, sets forth the task at hand and Bosley, the Project Manager, assembles the team. Of course, Bosley chooses a team of three beautiful women, each with their own specialties.
As a project manager, it is important to keep in mind that team building means a lot of team coordination, suggestions, and questions to be asked. This is something that takes place when you are choosing your team members, and ends in reaching your goal. While your team may not carry guns, karate chop the bad guys, jump off buildings, or escape exploding cars while wearing evening gowns and high heels, your team should consist of experts that are genuinely interested in the success of the project.
When you set your project goal, focus your team on the target. Create an agreement, commitment, and energy for the project goal. When you do something that you like, or that you care about, you will do it right. Talk and accept ideas from all team members. This creates a compelling vision of the project’s end result and its value to the organization. Additionally, it begins to build a shared passion about the project that will drive the team’s desire to get the job done.
This is an excellent way of developing many creative solutions to a problem. Ideas should deliberately be as broad and odd as possible. This process is designed to help you break out of your thinking patterns into new ways of looking at things. Group brainstorming can have better results than brainstorming on your own. When individual members reach their limit on an idea, another member’s creativity and experience can take the idea to the next level. Once the brainstorming session is over, then you can explore solutions to overcome the problem at hand.
A well-known adage says that the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. This is something to keep in mind when we start a new project. Adequate time should be spent on planning the project in order to know exactly what needs to be done and to set specific stages that must be respected. This requires an identification of the objectives. After choosing the objectives and the stages, you must remember not to rush. A good plan always offers you enough time for completion. Should you discover that you are lacking in time and milestones are not being met, you need to go back and re-plan and re-evaluate your project objectives. When things go array, just take a deep breathe and think about the tasks you have to do next, prioritize them and begin working again.
5. Time Management:
This is one of my pet-peeves. Have you ever dreaded going into a meeting because you know that your boss or manager is going to talk for 30 minutes about how great he/she is? What a waste of valuable time! Respecting your team’s time will promote you to ‘head honcho’ in the eyes of your team.
Having an agenda is crucial to a meeting’s success. Make sure you (and everyone else supposed to be at the meeting) has a copy of the agenda, the time allotted for the meeting, and the decisions that have to be made during the meeting. If the meeting is supposed to include any sort of presentation, it’s the responsibility of the meeting holder to ensure that all required multimedia equipment is in place, tested and ready. Morning meetings are suggested if the meeting is project-related. This would allow actual work to be accomplished based on meeting. Likewise, review meetings should take place in the afternoon, allowing members to use that day’s experience to better evaluate the results.
6. No ‘Stinkin Thinkin’:
Be a positive project manager by acknowledging and praising your team. It is essential to keep your team’s spirits high. This makes people enthusiastic about their job. It is a known fact that people work harder and give better results when they work for pleasure than when they work because they have to. You should keep in mind that it’s not hard to share enthusiasm with the other team members. You just have to see the positives of each task instead of the negatives. Simply remember that every thing you do today means another experience tomorrow.
Inside of each project there must be a set of rules to be respected by all team members. For not respecting these rules there must also be penalties since most of the time people respect rules simply because they fear the penalties. Each person involved in a project has his/her own responsibility. The Project Manager, for example, is responsible for clearly defining what is expected from each member of the team. The members of the team are responsible for maintaining consistency, for asking help when they need, and for reporting problems and issues.
Responsibility also means feeling compassion and understanding for the team member that doesn’t fit in the project team and trying to help him. However, this should never overcome incompetence because the final goal of the project counts the most. Sometimes responsibility also means removing someone from the team. A lack of responsibility can lead to a failure or to disputes between team members. As project manager, it is your responsibility to hold each of your team members accountable for their assigned task.
Utilizing and implementing the team project management tips above, you will soar to new heights as project manager. As the Angel’s say, “Thanks Charlie!”