Generating personal and collaborative enthusiasm is one of the key ingredients of the team process and is essential to establishing our team.
Getting off to a fast start and then maintaining enthusiasm over time will reap results for the organization. A well functioning team is able to do this even when there are roadblocks and obstacles in its path.
Often individuals on a team develop a tenacious determination to prove that the team can achieve the vision regardless of the barriers. Planning for roadblocks can give people the courage to move forward and take risks.
Creating and launching teams is not something that can be accomplished casually. Research on airline cockpit crews shows that team functioning rather than mechanical problems is the cause of most airline accidents. This is especially true when the team is first starting out.
There are critical points in the progress of a team when accountability can make or break a successful outcome. At the beginning stages of the team, deciding and implementing different methods of accountability can make the project or the plan seem fresh and interesting.
Ideas for inculcating accountability include:
Focused team meetings
Well run meetings make decisions, decide on the execution responsibility and ownership
Designated responsibilities which are clear and which have time frames around completion points, ensures that what has been decided actually gets done.
Milestones with clear timelines
No one should be in any doubt as to where in the project completion phase they or their colleagues are located.
These plans often use Gant charts to show overlapping phases of the project, nominate the key milestones, document who does what, and are the reference point for the whole team.
Follow up check sheets
What gets measured gets done and so the check sheets provide the calibration of completion of the project and names names around who bears responsibility for their portion.
In this age of technology and interconnectivity, old concepts like relying on everyone to get together in a room is a folly and often hinders the progress required on the project. As long as everyone is kept aware of the progress being made in the roll out stage, they can participate from almost any location or even review the recording of meeting later. We are no longer tied to a few people’s schedules.
Copying the team on all communication
Sharing documents in real time, uploading the latest information, copying key people in on their section of the project keeps everyone informed and involved.
Filling in expertise or knowledge gaps, while the project is underway, can have a dramatic impact on the quality of people’s participation. Instead of just relying on existing capability we can continue to build it as we progress. The time allocated versus the potential outcomes, means it is effort well invested.
Anytime we engage with others there is mutual accountability for the outcomes. Yet, in this busy life, those accountabilities can be eroded. There are better ways of keeping people committed and enthused and we have covered some of them here. The key is to surround the project with so much support and interlocking accountability, that no one can fail to do their piece and so the end result is excellence in execution.