The project manager has two responsibilities: not only someone “who plans, procures and executes a project’ but also a person who often manages a team. And as you know, a team can be a disparate group of employees spread across geographies and time zones, a shared resource, and quite frankly a bit of a challenge.
Here are three short tips to ensure you’re getting the most from your team:
1. Treat your goals as tools, not objectives
Setting clear goals and motivating the team to work better together to complete them is key to getting things done. Try treating your goal as a management tool, not an objective. Few things cause frustration faster on a project than bringing motivated people together without giving them direction.
At the outset of a project, communicate roles and responsibilities clearly. Outline the overall tactics and activities that are needed in order to reach the project goals. Allow your team to self-organise within this frame. Remember that they are the actual experts and have their specific roles and skill sets. The last thing you need is multiple people working on the same task or overlooking some significant tasks.
2. Invest in passion
Passion is one of management’s most powerful forces. And it’s almost impossible to foster passion without a communicative and transparent climate. Letting your team and stakeholders know what the plan is and how everything is coming along means they’ll feel more involved and invested in the outcome.
In today’s digital and connected world, transparency is much easier to accomplish by making information accessible and visual. This is why Kanban boards have become so popular. They provide a tangible way to visualise your team’s, and each team member’s, tasks as cards and arrange them in columns depending on what’s in in progress, finished or yet to be started. Kanban boards are great for teams and project managers to set out who should be working on what, while at the same time painting a clear and comprehensive picture of what stage each section of a project is at.
3. Keep it real
If you’re working in the same location as your team members it is extremely important to balance all other ongoing communication by hosting quick meetings IRL (In Real Life). Keep it quick and simple. Use video conferencing if you’re not in the same location. Meet as a group or one-to-one.
Don’t let travelling or other whereabouts be an excuse, flexible working is a right, even a prerequisite – but there is also an obligation to be available in the same way as if you would be in the office. Agile methodology suggests a strict daily regularity to the meetings, e.g. daily 10 minute stand-ups, but you should of course find a pace that fits your team’s agenda.
Team management is one of the key roles of the project manager. To find out more about what is involved, download our free eBook Project Manager’s Guide to Getting Things Done Part 1: How to set goals, organise teamwork, and measure success or Part 2: How to manage your team’s workload.
You can also sign up here for free to give Kanban boards a try and get your project up and running in five minutes.