You are a freshly minted MBA, raring to get out there and change the world overnight. You do everything exactly the way the books told you to, except that nothing can get the team you are leading to move forward. Before you know it, you have lost a ton of time and resources, as well as your credibility as a Project leader has taken that first hit.
Welcome to the real world.
The only thing that can get work done in a traditional organization, is proper and timely communication. In other words, ‘Everyone has to be on the same page’. I know you’ve heard that one before, but trust me its the hardest thing to do. Thing is, more often than not your team members are on the same page, but reading different books.
Here are 3 things that can save you tons of re-work and ensure the project timeliness and success.
Communicate Early: Don’t wait for a day or two after that project kickoff to touch base with the team. Create a Minutes of Meeting document , (do it yourself if you don’t have a secretary taking notes) and send it across immediately after the meeting. Do this after every meeting , record each item making sure each item is actionable and non redundant. In the end, ask if an team member has issues with any item and resolve it. Then Freeze it. You will be happy.
Communicate Often: I hate status meetings. IMO status meetings such as ‘Weekly Status Meetings’ are meant to tell each other ‘what we collectively did not achieve this week’. Week after Week. However, if status meetings are managed effectively- they can be a huge tool for getting work done. Turn them into more frequent and quick stand-up meetings where each team member stands up and talks about why he couldn’t complete a task and then the team collective offers to get them what they need to get it done. Its crazy how most answers can be found within the team itself, but people communicate only on status meetings. Thats why I hate them.
Talk it out or Seek Help: Even the best managers fail. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you are conducting a team, you just fail because one person has decided to screw your life for the love of God.
Talk it Out: Go talk to this person one-on-one and understand the issues. Try and resolve issues offline, and get this person to contribute positively.
Seek Help: If #1 does not help, bring seek intervention. The point is to raise the issue early enough so that it does not snowball into a roadblock to Project Success.
You can tell I had a bad day at office today.