Are you about to lead a new project team? If you are lucky, you are appointed before the rest of the team are chosen. Now, how are you going to set about choosing the right people for your team and then forming them into a well-functioning group?
Selecting the Team
This is when it pays to invest your time and energy in selecting the right people. You need to have a clear view of the range of skills and abilities you need. Be very practical. What matters most is not necessarily having excellence but achieving balance! You need a good mix and balance of skills and experience. As well as having specialist skills, team members need to be able to get along with each other. You want a group that communicates well and works together to achieve results
Set Out the Ground Rules and Style of Working
Right from the start, model how you want the team to behave. From your very first team meeting, show people how you want them to be behave. Get there on time and make clear that you expect other people to do the same thing. Make sure people understand what the team is there to do and what you expect. Be clear – this is not the time for ambiguity. Where you can, be ready to include all team members in decision-making. But make sure people are understand that you are accountable for the decisions made. And make sure people are clear about their own and other people’s roles and who has responsibility for what. If some things are not settled yet, explain how and when decisions will be made and how people will find out about them.
Have Clear Goals
It is important that the team as a whole has clear and achievable goals and that these are set out for individuals in the team. Goals need to both attainable and unambiguous. Those set for one person should not be duplicated in the goals set for someone else, nor should they be in conflict. If the achievement of goals depends on out-side factors, people need to understand what they personally will be accountable for. If you want to lift morale, give some thought to goals that, while challenging, can be delivered fairly quickly, so that people can start out with a feeling of success.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is likely to be the most important factor in team success or failure. Your team and stakeholders (others with an interest) need to know what is happening. Have a strategy for communicating from the beginning – think through who needs to know what and when. Then set up how you will communicate and how often. Make sure everyone is clear how they will get information.
I hope you find these tips useful. Teams are great places to work when they are set up properly and time invested at the beginning is never wasted.
Wendy Mason is a career coach. She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com