Getting the highest level of productivity possible from the team is one of the big challenges for a project manager. If you can do this then you are well on the way to getting your work done successfully, so here’s how to go about it.
Give Everyone the Work They Do Best
As your project team progresses and develops you will want to give everyone a chance to learn new things. However, if the pressure is on you need to focus on what everyone does well. It sounds incredibly simple and it is, as long as you take the time to find out what each person in the team is best at. This is one sure way to get everyone working at full capacity. It is even better if you get them all something they like to do as well, although this isn’t always possible in all projects.
Get the Motivation Levels Up
How do you motivate your team to exceptionally high productivity levels? There is no simple answer here, as we all respond differently to different types of motivation. The best example I can give from personal experience comes from before I become a project manager. The guy who was running the project said that he liked the work I was producing and that he was going to give me more responsibilities. I guess everyone has their own buttons which you need to learn to push. In my case I was hungry to advance and being given the glimmer of a prospect of doing so was just what I needed. This means that you need to take the time to find out what everyone in your team is looking for from their work and for their future.
Make It Easy
Working as a project manager means doing whatever is necessary to make the entire piece of work run as smoothly as possible. This could mean different things in different situations and you will need to approach each project with the idea of working out how you can make it as easy as possible for everyone concerned. This could mean simply removing obstacles to getting things signed off, making the administrative process as simple as possible or considering changing the physical location of some of your team. Whatever needs done to make the project go smoothly you should be prepared to do it.
If the team aren’t sure what deadlines they are up against then you can’t really expect them to go all out to meet them. Personally I have always liked the idea of giving them all of the information and letting them decide what is useful or relevant to them. In the same vein you need to be sure that they are clear on the consequences if milestones slip or if the project fails for some other reason. It is no good waiting until it is too late and then pointing out how important it was to do things on time. If you have a sensible, mature project tea, working for you then it shouldn’t take too much effort for you to get them up to speed and understanding what is needed. However, if there are some inexperienced workers in there you will need to give them more details and be more patient with them until you are sure that they understand everything which they need to know.
Get the Chemistry Right
A project team in which everyone gets on well together and enjoys the team experience is far more likely to enjoy high productivity levels. If your team has been thrown together hastily then it might take a bit of work for you to get them to bond together. There are lots of ideas these days for team bonding events and exercises. I have always liked away days where we can some fun and everyone gets to feel comfortable. A lot of the best elements of these events can happen in the informal settings of the coffee break or lunch hour, so should make sure that you build in plenty of time for these. You will also find that it is a pleasure to work in a team which has fun together and where the atmosphere is good. If you see your team coming in to work each day with smiles on their faces then you will know that you have got this aspect of the project right. On the other hand, if all you see are long faces then some more work is needed on this.
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