Project teams often use sports metaphors to motivate each other, but be careful. There are some dangers with it that don’t exist—or at least aren’t as important—in a sports setting.
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Living through the pandemic has offered some insights and observations about how we work in teams—and how we can improve team interactions going forward. Those insights aren't just about improving work in a pandemic, but how we can think about enhancing team functioning even as we move to whatever the next “normal” becomes.
Evolving into a functional team can be difficult. The nuances of human behavior inevitably lead to some level of dysfunction. Here are three common problems and their causes—and suggestions to solve them.
Swarming is a method that agile teams can use to improve prioritization, collaboration, learning and overall delivery. Here’s a look at how it works—and how you can benefit from using it on your teams.
Does the team always come first? To a point. Strengthening and developing the team is the most important deliverable of any project—but that mantra can be used as a weapon against the PM.
If people know that you are an external contractor, you are viewed differently than if people believe you are an employee of the same organization. This creates unnecessary barriers that prevent relationships from ever properly developing, increasing the chances for problems when the project experiences challenges. It doesn't have to be this way.
Stress, surprises and communication failures—especially in a virtual environment—are ever-present threats to our project success. Unfortunately, project managers often have a blind spot when it comes to their teams.
Is there benefit in having a PM stay with the same team through multiple projects, or would everyone be better off if project managers led different teams—even if those teams were themselves fairly stable?
Distinguish yourself by fostering inclusion to maintain project team productivity. Start by building from organizational policies and training—then apply that guidance to team and individual interactions.
Question: Due to my special skill sets, I am often asked to move between teams, most of them virtual. Since each team functions differently (especially as we try to survive by being more flexible and responsive to the customer and also work from home), I find it difficult to remember how each team interacts and how to know the unspoken rules they use to run their projects and their online meetings. Is there any method that a team can use so that members, plus those of us who come in and out as needed, know how to adjust our behavior—and how they can standardize their own?