Here are the 3 Real Secrets to Team Project Success
Team projects: you either love them or you hate them. But regardless, they are often inevitable when it comes to running a business. It is nearly impossible to create a successful company on your own; so at one time or another, you will need to collaborate with others in order to create a new project, design an app or website, or reach a particular goal.
Unfortunately, more often than not, team projects lead to frustration – and even internal conflict. According to a study from 5 Dynamics, less than 10% of employees would choose to work as a team all of the time.
When asked why they disliked collaborative settings so much, 35% stated that they found it frustrating to motivate their team members to put in equal effort and 27% found it difficult to plan, allocate tasks, and monitor progress.
It is never easy to get a group of people to unify and work together towards a shared goal, particularly when they have different personalities and work styles. However, there are some ways that can help to support the likelihood of project success, while also making the process smoother, easier, and far more enjoyable for those involved.
So, what are
the secrets to team project success?
Let’s dive in.
1. Planning for a Culture of Collaboration
There is always a lot of planning that goes into starting a business. Everything from picking out the business name to the office layout to the sales strategy is planned out ahead of time.
But what about the culture?
Often times, the company’s culture is a byproduct of the people in the office and it is created passively by their work ethics and personalities.
However, if a business’s culture is “every man for themselves,” team projects will almost certainly fail. You need to create and cultivate a culture within your business that thrives on teamwork and encourages collaboration.
This must start from the very beginning by making careful hiring choices and bringing on people that have both leadership and collaboration skills. Make sure that you are asking the right questions during the interview process and also using a qualification system that checks for these important soft skills. This process will make team projects far easier down the road.
Your company leaders should also be doing all that they can to cultivate this kind of collaborative culture by encouraging people to reach out for help when needed. Managers must lead by example and show employees the proper way to both lead and contribute to a team.
Team projects are often more successful when the leader knows how to keep everyone on track, while not overstepping and becoming a micromanager. Company leaders should be aware of how to balance this and show employees how to do the same.
2. Recognition and Reflection
Think back to those days in elementary and middle school gym class when it came time to pick teams for dodgeball. If you were lucky enough to get on a team with your best friends, chances are that you worked together quite well – and you probably had a lot of fun, too.
But, say that you were one of the last kids to get chosen and you didn’t know anyone on your team. More likely than not, you felt no sense of comradery and the game was far less enjoyable for you.
Feeling connection is incredibly important both in life and at work. But sadly, according to a recent study, up to 40% of employees stated that they felt isolated in the office and didn’t feel like they were truly “part of a team.”
Obviously, this is a major issue that stands in the way of project success. However, this same study also found that employees felt a better sense of belonging when they saw that their opinions were heard and respected. 39% stated that they felt the most connection at work when they could speak openly and voice their honest opinions, and 34% stated that they felt a strong sense of belonging when their contributions were recognized and appreciated.
Again, it is up to the leaders in your organization to establish practices that make employees feel seen, heard, and recognized.
One great way to do this is to incorporate an effective feedback program that values honesty. It is important to create a safe environment where employees can voice their concerns, opinions, and questions without fear of judgement.
Furthermore, leaders should constantly recognize achievements and encourage their team members whenever possible in order to show appreciation.
3. Accountability Fueled by Open Communication Channels
If you think back to the days when you were in school projects, typically one or two people did the majority of the work while the rest slacked off. When it comes to business, sadly, this often happens as well. This is why real accountability and communication must be the framework for collaboration.
Thankfully, there are plenty of digital resources available for teams today to keep projects organized, calendars synced, and task assignments sorted. The key is to find the kind of system that works best for your team specifically.
This is why Project Manager offers multiple project plan views, such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, flowcharts, and calendar views so that your members can choose the workflow style that makes sense to them.
Members can instantly connect directly through this platform and share documents or integrate with other apps, such as Salesforce and Slack. This ensures that nothing is ever lost in cyberspace (or a long email chain) while making it far easier for team members to stay connected even when they are not in the same office space.
There is no secret recipe to success for team projects; some groups of people will seamlessly work together no matter what, while others may constantly bump heads. But there are strategies that business leaders should use to make these kinds of collaborations more successful and enjoyable.
The key here is planning ahead; start by establishing a culture that values teamwork and make sure that all of your employees truly feel like they play an important part of the team. And finally, use the tools that will make collaboration easier with features that support communication and organization.