Individual commitment to a group effort: That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. — Vince Lombardi
Team organisation isn’t always easy, particularly for remote teams. If everyone on the team isn’t clear about who is responsible for what, and when it needs to be done, things can easily fall apart.
If a team leader isn’t in control of the rest of his or her team members, it can create chaos. This article summarises the top do’s and don’ts of effective, successful team organization.
Do: Communicate Clear Expectations
If you want the most productive team, make sure everyone is on the same page. Remote teams are increasing in popularity to attract the best talent and reduce costs, but without clear expectations, the organizational structure can seem unclear and unproductive.
However, there are simple ways to make expectations clear for all businesses, no matter where employees are working. Using the right tools, co-workers can communicate on a regular basis without the need for a team meeting every day.
For example, let’s say a software team is planning a large project to redesign their company customer relationship management program. They can organize the project and assign goals, tasks and targets to individual team members and track progress along the way with team organization tools.
Don’t: Assign Vague Goals
Once you have identified the issues your team needs to tackle, the real work begins. Companies have specific problems to resolve, and the goals and tasks created to address them should be just as distinct. To ensure your goals are going to be the most effective, use the S.M.A.R.T goal planning method.
Well-organized teams use specific goals that are measurable over time, achievable, relevant and time-bound to produce the best business results.
Do: Require Accountability
Even if an organization has the best goals in place, they are useless without proper execution. It’s common for cross-functional teams to collaborate on projects. They may have different expectations and ways of communicating with one another as opposed to working within their departmental teams.
Take extra care to develop clear expectations of who will do what, by when, and what resources will be needed. For example, a marketing and sales team may collaborate on creating an email engagement series to foster new leads.
They should create a detailed work plan that outlines the phases of the project, due dates and assign individual responsibility to goals in a format that can be easily tracked and measured.
Don’t: Make Assumptions
A project team has to have high levels of trust to be the most effective and produce their best work. It’s common for team leaders, project managers and employees alike to make assumptions when they don’t communicate effectively.
For example, a team member has conflicting priorities because she is working on three large projects at the same time. She has multiple tasks due on the same day and her workload is too high. However, her direct supervisor is only involved in one of the projects she is working on and is frustrated with her low performance.
The team leader of one of the projects she is working on goes to her boss to complain about her tardy work, and frustration increases. But, both parties are at fault in this scenario.
The team member with the heavy workload should have felt comfortable enough to talk with her boss. Her supervisor should meet with her to discuss her workload and identify her most important commitments before taking any disciplinary action.
Agile teams actively mitigate conflicts like these before they become a problem by using transparent technology tools to measure workloads, identify conflicting priorities and track progress.
Do: Leverage Employee Skill Sets
Build the most organized team in the industry by assessing and understanding your team members’ unique skills. For example, you may have a sales representative that also has a conflict management certificate. Leverage that employee to foster effective team building activities throughout the organization.
Smart team leaders also leverage their employees with cross-training. It’s so common for employees to think, “Who would do this if I left or wasn’t here today?” Cross-training team members makes your company more organized, promotes employee skill development and protects your organization.
Don’t: Silo Departments
While each department in an organization has their own specialty and specific roles, make sure teams have frequent opportunities to work together. When they collaborate, you may be surprised to find their specific skill sets produce some of the most innovative ideas.
For example, bring members of your software development team and client experience teams together on a software project. The client experience team sees things through the lens of your customer, giving the software development staff a completely different perspective about the features customers crave.
Additionally, the client experience team will gain understanding regarding the product development process, limitations to feature upgrades and realistic time frames for requests.
Whether your organization is located in one building or spread out across the world, using the right tools and resources to promote a well-organized team will set you up for success.
culled from samewave.com