Have you ever been on a project team that had everything going right? The team members all got along; they all had the right skills; they had the right processes; everyone worked hard and pulled together to get the project done.
Those are just some of the characteristics of a high-performing team. High-performing teams can sometimes form by themselves, perhaps even in spite of a manager that gets in the way. It is also possible that a manager can facilitate a team through a process that leads them to become high performing. The following actions can help the team’s growth.
- Set common objectives. Teams will have a hard time performing at a high level unless they are all striving toward a common set of objectives. Even if members of your team do different jobs, a set of objectives can usually be written that will encompass all of them.
- Establish good internal work processes. You cannot build consistently good products, or deliver good services, with poor work processes. The high-performing team has a set of internal processes that guide how members act and react in particular circumstances.
- Instill good work ethic. High-performing teams find the challenges associated with their work and work hard to complete their assignments within expectations. Members get more work done in a typical day than their counterparts.
- Keep everyone focused. Team members understand the work they have on their plate today, as well as what the remainder of their work is. They don’t get sidetracked by rumors or politics.
- Maintain a high level of motivation. The high-performance team relies on both self-motivation as well as a reinforced motivation through the entire team.
- Keep organized. Team members know where to find the things they need to do their job, and they know where to put things when they are done.
- Strive toward a balanced set of key skills. A high-performance team has the skills needed to complete the work on its plate. People understand their strengths and weaknesses, but they also are willing to work outside their comfort area when needed.
- Foster mutual respect. Team members have mutual respect for each other and trust that the others are working as hard as they are.
In the right circumstances, a manager can take the lead to move a team toward high-performance status. It takes time. If it were easy, every team would be high performing, instead of the one or two that you may have worked on in your entire career.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you strengthen your project, portfolio and PMO processes.