Every manager wants their team, and the project, to be successful, but this is often easier said than done. There are always obstacles to success and issues that arise during the course of the project. To help ease the pain caused by potholes in the road, you can help your team by putting them in a position to succeed.
I think the main components needed to put people in a position to succeed are:
- A clear vision
- A stable and mature framework
- Access to the proper tools
Provide a clear vision
- The team needs to know why the company is in business. Is the company just trying to make money or is it trying to improve the world (or industry)?
- The team needs to know where the company is going. What does the company look like 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years from now?
- The team needs to know what they are working on.
- The team needs to know why they are working towards a certain goal.
- Team members need to know what type of tasks they are going to be asked to do on the project.
- Team members need to know what they will learn during the project.
- Team members need to know what the future has in store for them professionally.
Provide the proper framework
- The team needs to know how they fit into the puzzle.
- What is the reporting structure?
- Who do I go to with questions?
- Who tells me what to work on?
Project management methodology
- Methodology choice is unimportant! Choose a methodology and then follow it.
- Educate the team on the methodology you are using for the project.
Provide the proper tools
- Make sure the team has adequate technical resources:
- Team/meeting space
- Snacks…all team members appreciate food
- Make sure you staff the team adequately
- Enough resources
- Qualified resources
- Motivated resources
- Make sure you develop the team via training and personal development initiatives
Following the above steps may not guarantee project success, but not following them certainly can doom a project. When the team knows that you are committed to them and the project, they are more likely to return that commitment in kind. Remember, you are all in this together, and you depend on them just as they depend on you. Do what you can to put your people in a position to succeed and you are more likely to succeed yourself.