No matter what stage of development your team may be at, they’re most effective when the whole group understands and accepts the goals of their assignment. A way to get your team on-board is to allow members to provide feedback on defining and refining project goals. Managers should also provide feedback on establishing and refining these goals. Synergy between team members and managers in establishing project statements will result in achieving these goals, as well. This conversation should normally happen at the initial project meeting, which should also describe team-building goals and information goals.
Effective teams contribute to the achievement of three types of goals throughout the course of a project.
1. Team-building goals focus on:
– Getting to know each team member. Teams are most effective when they take time to discover each member’s background, skill, work style, etc.
– Learning to work together. Teams need to identify the strengths of each member and set processes in place to work efficiently together.
– Setting ground rules. Members need a common understanding of how the team will conduct itself and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Some of the topics for discussion are meeting attendance, promptness, conversational courtesy, assignments, and breaks.
– Figuring out decision-making processes. A characteristic of ineffective teams is that decisions just seem to happen. Teams need to discuss how decisions will be made to avoid conflicts in the future.
2. Information goals include:
– Getting updates from team members on progress! Staying connected with your team and making sure everyone is on the same page is important.
– Learning about the tools used to support the team’s various tasks.
– Communicating with stakeholders.
3. Project goals focus on:
– Understanding the project and each member’s assignment. Teams should be able to ask questions about their tasks and the stakeholders’ expectations.
– Identifying the business needs supported by the goals.
– Understanding the process that will be used. Not only do team members need to understand the overall process, but they also need to understand which steps are their responsibilities.
– Identifying the resources needed. Team members need to discuss resources that might be needed sooner than later in the process. This discussion ensures that necessary resources will be available at their designated times.
– Developing a project plan or outline of how the team will accomplish their goals. Teams need roadmaps. A team leader should discuss the logistics of the project with team members. Breaking the process into smaller steps and assigning duties will help build team collaboration. Team should continue to review and revise these plans as they move toward reaching their goals.