It’s football season, and I’m watching a couple of my favorite teams have rough seasons. It happens. As individuals, the teams all have a number of standouts — players who bring exceptional skills and strengths to the team.
However, when they come together to play, they are not walking away with the win. It’s disappointing. I’m sure more for them than it is for us spectators.
A team is a collection of individuals assembled together to accomplish something specific. Everyone shows up with their individual experiences and areas of expertise, their strengths, and their weaknesses. Most times, once the team is assembled, we expect magic to happen and for the team to perform at maximum intensity.
What’s the playbook? What are the rules of engagement? Are there some important things that this team should observe and do? Are there sacred cows? Are there implicit rules? Are there specific stakeholders that they should keep engaged in a certain way?
I’ve become a huge fan of kicking off project teams with training and a discussion around the rules of engagement for the team. Every team will come together differently because there are different people on the team.
One of the best things you can do for your team to contribute to their success is allow time to meet each other. This will help them learn a little about each other, which speeds them up on the path to trust and other components important for a highly functioning team.
While they are gelling and defining their path forward as a team, give them a refresher on what it takes to run a solid project in your environment. What deliverables are expected? When and how? What are important processes in your organization for procurement, for budgeting, etc.? Teams have a much better chance of winning if they practice together, are receptive to feedback, and can adjust quickly.
I was watching a game earlier today and my team made a series of errors that generated a lot of points for the opponents in a short amount of time. I was happy that it all happened right before half-time. Why? Because I figured half-time would give them an opportunity to pause and figure out why their cadence is so off and why they can’t seem to come together.
Give your team opportunities to review and train on the basics. Give your team time to connect and meet as individuals.
Ask your team what they need to be successful. Are there any additional resources, data, training they think would contribute to their success?
We love bringing teams together to train on project management principles via PMI standards or Lean Six Sigma basics. Reach out — we’d love to help get your team off to a great start!
Holloway Consulting Group is an Atlanta-based firm helping corporate technology teams all over the world set goals, create plans, and solve complex problems. We aim to service organizations through our training, coaching, and project management programs. Visit our website to schedule a call with our team today!