mardi 12 juin 2012

5 Tips for Managing Your Project Teams

A lire sur : Method 123

If you'd like to learn 5 Tips that will help you manage your project teams effectively, then read on...
5 Tips for Managing Your Project Teams
Getting buy-in from your team and keeping everyone on the same page is not easy. But if you can do these five things really well, then your teams will thrive and your projects will come to completion...
1. Listen Intently to Your Team
Everyone likes to be heard. This is especially true when people are talking about their opinions on the best way to complete a project. It's important for you to listen intently to everyone on your project team.
Does this mean that you will do everything your team suggests? Of course not! That would be impossible as what one person suggests may be in direct conflict with someone else's suggestion. But, it does mean that you have taken the time to listen to someone's ideas, asked them questions, and then taken the time to explain whether or not their ideas will fit into the big picture of the project.
2. Over-Communicate with Your Team
How often have you heard "I didn't know that" from someone on your team when you know the topic was recently discussed at a meeting you all attended? This is a common occurrence that has been the nemesis of many project managers.
Take a lesson from product marketers. There is an adage that says someone has to hear something up to 7 times before they take action on the message. Marketers will present the same message in different ways, at different times, and in different formats until something finally clicks with their potential buyer. You need to do the same thing as a project manager. Hopefully, you won't have to repeat yourself 7 times, but look for opportunities to make sure your team members clearly understand your message and always err on the side of over-communicating.
3. Create (and Stick to) Clear Ground Rules for Your Team
Didn't you hate it as a kid when you were playing a game and the rules always seemed to change? Just as soon as you thought you had figured out how to play, someone came along and said things were going to be done differently. What's worse, this was usually to your detriment!
That was bad enough as a kid, but it really gets frustrating when you are an adult trying to complete your project. It's your job as a project manager to create reasonable ground rules and make sure everyone plays by them. These reasonable ground rules include what reports are due and when, how disagreements or conflict will be resolved, expectations for individual performance, and when issues need to be escalated. It's equally as important that you maintain consistency across all team members on the application of these ground rules and not change them on a whim. One word of caution...keep ground rules to a minimum. You don't want to overwhelm your team with a ton of rules that do nothing more than bog people down and prevent work from getting done.
4. Change Your Management Style as Your Team Evolves
There are a number of development stages that project teams will go through as they start working together. These are typically categorized as Form (coming together), Storm (initial conflicts), Norm (things begin to smooth out), and Perform (the machine is up and running).
To effectively manage a project team it's important that you understand the behaviors, cares, concerns, and anxieties of team members in each phase and manage accordingly. For example, during the Storm phase of group development you will be serving as more of a moderator, facilitator, and possibly even mediator. You will be very hands-on and spending an inordinate amount of time with team members as they work through these issues. Once they have reached the Perform stage, however, you want to back off and give everyone their room and independence to get their work done with minimal intervention.
5: Empower Your Team Members
Here's a sure-fire way to get people to quit in utter disgust and frustration...give them a task to do without the proper level of authority to get it done. You can inadvertently do this a number of ways. The first is by making them check back with you every step of the way to ensure they are making the right decisions. This is a morale-killer and screams "I don't trust you!" The second is to give them a task that is beyond what they can handle themselves at this point in their career. You are only setting them up for failure and embarrassment if they don't have the skills necessary to get the task done. Remedy this situation and set them up for success by mentoring them through the process and build up their confidence.
So that's it. If you listen to your team, over-communicate, create and stick to clear ground rules, adapt your management style as the team evolves, and empower them to get things done you will find that your project team can't wait to work with you on the next project you manage!
One more thing you can do to manage your teams effectively is to work collaboratively. That's where comes in. It allows you to discuss what's important with your team, share documents, images, and videos and keep everyone updated with the status of your project in real-time!

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