August 17, 2021

Article at Kevin on Authory

Six Tips for Keeping Your Team Organized


You can expect team success if you organize for success. Getting organized before you ever discuss the purpose or goals of the team can make or break a project. Use these tips to evaluate and upgrade your current processes.

 

1.  Use Communication Tools Effectively

 

·     A number of communication tools help a team share issues and progress. If you are not using one, consider these:

·     Trello allows you to create “cards” that are essentially a list of tasks to be done. Each card may have a checklist to indicate completed tasks. All team members can edit, so this makes for easy collaboration. 

·     Asana is limited to 15 team members. It has “like” and “thumbs up” functions. Decide whether the popularity of an entry is important to the team’s work.  

·     Slack works as a chat room for the project. Team members can have online conversations. This is an excellent way to eliminate a flood of emails in your inbox.  

·     Basecamp allows communication between team members while syncing to Google Drive and Google Calendar. If you are a Google-based company, this could work for you. 

·     Teamwork Projects enables users to assign priorities to tasks and create milestones. 

 

2. Give Ownership of Problem-Solving

 

If team members must come to you to solve every problem that arises, they will bog down in delays. Designate a team leader to handle team problems and designate task leaders for each task.

 

Give everyone the authority to create subchannels on your communications tool. When they need to communicate with a few individuals regarding a specific task, they will be more effective if they create a subchannel. This vital piece of organizational savvy empowers individuals to take ownership of their duties. You don’t have to manage the minutiae of every task because team members can handle issues among themselves.

 

Getting organized in this manner only makes the team more efficient because people can work without asking permission for every move they make.

Clarify what types of issues should require your approval. The rest of the time, the team can take responsibility for creating solutions. 

 

3. Manage Conflicts

 

Establish a hierarchy for resolving conflicts. A task leader can resolve disagreements. The team leader can address conflicts the task leaders cannot remedy. For situations that arise that the team leader cannot resolve, you can be the final arbiter.  

 

No matter who is responsible for managing conflicts, provide this guide to team members, so they understand how to approach disagreements.

 

  • Call a conflict a conflict. There is a point in any disagreement where someone needs to call it what it is. Just stating that it exists puts it on the table for all to acknowledge. This transparency prevents issues from becoming worse. 
  • Name the feelings involved. When things get heated, simply recognizing anger or hurt feelings lets people know their emotions count. 
  • State the problem. Note how it affects the team’s work and how it affects morale.  
  • Understand what all the parties want. Examine their needs along with the team’s needs. Ask for proposed solutions to the conflict that will satisfy the individuals while empowering them to reach their goals. 
  • Follow up to see how solutions work. Once everyone agrees on a course of action to resolve a conflict, check in to see if it is working. Ask the conflicting parties if they feel better and can work more effectively. 

 

4. Use Milestones

 

You can easily set goals for a team--you knew what was needed before you formed the group. The tricky part is setting milestones. These are significant tasks that must be achieved along the way in pursuit of the goal. 

 

Milestones can include:

 

  • Task completion
  • Key deliverables
  • Finding vital information

 

You may think of many more based on the needs of the project. Decide what milestones are important to you, but allow the team to create some. They should be significant “arrival points” for the project. 

Assign dates for the completion of each milestone. This will keep the project moving toward completion.

 

5. Ask for Milestone Reports 

 

You can eliminate micromanaging your team by asking for a report when it achieves significant results. The team will have autonomy and transparency at the same time. 

Ask the team to notify you in advance if it appears a milestone will be missed. Otherwise, show you have confidence by allowing the team to reach and report milestones instead of letting you know about every glitch and issue.

 

6. Require To-Do Lists for Meetings

 

The purpose of meetings is to decide upon actions. Many discussions devolve into purposeless chatter. Make it clear that each team member should have actionable items from a meeting. 

 

Because many meetings occur remotely, tell your team members that being on time and prepared are still requirements.

 

Urge the team leader to avoid statements like, “We still have ten minutes left. Is there anything else?” This implies that the goal of the meeting is to use up the time rather than create a to-do list. 

 

Once the to-do list is complete, the meeting is over. Results-oriented discussions help make meetings painless.

 

Conclusion

 

You assemble a team to do the work, not create more work for yourself. If you are going to do everything, why have a team? By organizing methods before you assemble the group, you create pathways for success.