7 WAYS TO GROW YOUR TEAMS

BY SAMUEL LARTEY, PROJECT MANAGER.

I had an interesting experience in my project management career when I was faced with a project team of 15 to roll out a project. As it is the case in any project, delivery must be within a specified period of time, within a well defined standard, specification and must be within budget. Not forgetting the fact that all projects should be executed within a certain scope-No Scope Creeping- and ultimately satisfy some customers in whose interest the project was initiated and the stakeholders who authorized the project.

Having all the fundamental knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to plan, and execute projects, I set off the project expecting all factors would combine effectively without any difficulty. I have always had in mind that human resource is the single most important success factor in all my projects. I therefore selected my team religiously going through all the process defined in project management. In this process, I described and prescribed all the organizational human resource planning, staff acquisition and team development requirements and plans.

But believe you me; the story was different this time round, not because any of the ingredients of project management –quality, risk, communication, procurement, and scope or integration management-was unavailable. But rather the people were simply not gelling-no cooperation, frequent calls for tea and coffee, special lunch and snack breaks simply because it is training time, spending more time than necessary at break, no understanding and no team confidence just to mention a few. Unfortunately for the project, each member did not see him or herself as the cause or part of the cause of the challenge being faced, and no single team member so the need to cause change.

To smartly find solutions to the challenges on the project so as to meet all the project requirements within all the defined boundaries an in-depth investigation was conducted immediately on the team, questions were asked, experiences were shared and gratefully the following 7 main learning points came up.

Gain the Right Attitude
The attitude of the team was identified to be the major factor in deficiency. The attitudes of the team members were questioned. As the discussion ensued, one member quoted René Carayol and said: There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. Your bad attitudes will destroy your relationship with others. Your attitudes will affect your development in life both positively and negatively.

Have and manage knowledge
The team showed a total lack of knowledge of the project and what the project was to achieve. Our lives depend on what we know and what we know depends on how we do things. They do not have any knowledge of the project they have been put on. The project members did not know what they are good at and for that matter could not create any synergies for team development. They could not identify their strengths and for that matter would not ask questions to make them know more. The worse of all the behaviours was that they will simply ask for help when they do not know.

Know what to do
Members did not realize that their actions were needed to make the project succeed. Some would have to provide the needed and some would have to do the needful. Knowing what to do is a great importance to personal and team development. If you don’t know what to do, you will not know what to get. Because they did not know what they were doing, they did not know what to do. Have set goals and objectives for the day, week, month, year etc. Do not only set the targets, strive to achieve them and do more than you have set to achieve. Always remember to under promise but over deliver.

Face Challenges and Difficulties
Members did not embrace their challenges. Challenges are part of life. Those who overcome them become champions. Others may criticize all actions that you take and praise their actions in the team. Other may find you to be a bother but a successful and resilient team member is the one who identifies only the good from the criticisms and challenges that comes his or her ways.

Be yourself and Believe in yourself
They kept looking on at each others ill actions and will not take personal initiative. Do not copy wrongly from others. Be the original and not the photocopy. You cannot do others best but you can do your best life. See the challenges as opportunities for creativity and follow your true colors to success. If you do not believe in yourself no one will believe in you. People believe those who believe that they can do something. Have confidence. Exhibit positive body language and say it as it is.

Get the right training
You are where you are because of the kind of training you got. A person’s education, training and life experience affects his performance in life. Walk into the right trainings that would develop you and would propel you to achieve your personal objectives.

Face your Past failure and don’t fear to fail.
You are where you are because of your past failures. Don’t allow your failures to make you stay where you are. Your failure does not mean that you are out of the race, but it will give you’re the feedback of your actions and will give you time to prepare to win.

After the conversation and discussion of the observation it was concluded that each team member must have an initiative, drive, energy and the appetite for success. They should be seen to be responsible, accountable and effective. Not until these ingredients of success have been effectively combined the team will never grow.

Author's Bio: 

MBA Graduate and Banker. Leadership,Motivation and Personal Development speaker and writer. Mentored by Rene Carayol, UK. Motivated by Darryl Poonan, Ghana.