Project and Task Management is increasingly difficult to master. Leaders have to negotiate between multiple methods in keeping their team focused while providing direction. Today we face an ever-growing demand to leverage technology to speed up progress and efficiency. Therefore, it’s vital for any leader to understand how to seek which ways work, simplify, execute and move on.
Determining the correct methods to rely on isn’t always a walk in the park, however. Keeping the wheels turning is a balancing act- one that must be thoroughly communicated to your team from the start. No one likes speed bumps, and you shouldn’t have to settle for pitfalls amid your journey to project completion.
We felt it prudent to share our 3-step process of the basics that has worked time and again over the years. They’ve proven extremely effective in practice and are used internally every day. Let’s dive in…
1. Speak Up. Frequently.
Across the board and by far, communication on a regular basis is key to keeping any well-oiled operation in full swing. It prevents the imagination from deviating towards instinctual fear of the unknown and offers reassurance in return. Even when conveying bad news, communication is the cornerstone to building and maintaining any relationship- business or personal. Without it, it’s impossible to advance. This being the case, with everyday distractions we tend to overlook this simple concept. A clear plan of communication pilots everything else that follows.
Some teams share hundreds of notes on a weekly basis. Their methods of delegating work are quick and to-the-point. Does your strategy incorporate the tactics needed to keep updates flowing smoothly and easily? Many leaders will answer “Yes” to this, though, some of them are simply “winging it”. Without a preset communication tool in place, the effectiveness is seat-of-the-pants at best. For this reason, staying on-task must be intuitive. We discovered that most people working in groups are used to keeping tabs on items in a thread-type view- where everything is chronologically stacked and expandable, top to bottom, left to right. This configuration follows the same format by which we read. It also inspired the simple interface Telescope embodies today.
2. Determine Illusion vs. Necessity.
We’ve all seen it: the “leaper” in rush hour. When traffic advances, the car in front of you floors it, just to slam on their brakes 30 feet later. Let’s say both cars have the same destination. In your case, because you maintained a consistent and steady speed, you’ll arrive at the same time they do, only you’ll have significantly more fuel remaining when you get there. That’s your ability to determine how to stay efficient along the way to the finish line. Likewise, a good leader must recognize the big picture early while reevaluating it along the way. It sounds simple but those who fear change and don’t even know it are the impulsive ones- the “leapers”. They usually tend to seek big fixes in the short term. Efficiency suffers, the basics get forgotten and the rest is history. Keeping a steady pace with simple short-term solutions for your team helps maintain clarity on the long road ahead. Nonetheless, you must consider your options carefully.
There are plenty of lavish resources out there that throw giant fixes at tiny problems which can exhaust your means and slow you down. Don’t hire a team of rocket scientists to build a sand castle when your nephew will do. Remember the necessities. Use only the tools you need while steadily moving forward. It’s cheaper and faster. You’ll more-effectively compound your actions over time to bring bigger and brighter results to the table. Even better, you’ll do so at a consistent pace without going overboard on things you really didn’t require in the first place.
3. Prioritize Team Dynamics.
With a plethora of factors affecting team behavior and compatibility in today’s workplace, a leader must constantly explore their team’s beliefs in sharing the same goals and how they achieve them. How do your team members get along? Do their personalities gel well with one another? Is their motivation strong and positive? Questions like these should be reviewed on a weekly basis. A winning team’s success is contingent upon having the right tools in a happy, energetic work environment and the meaningful relationships they forge with each other. It is essential you routinely remind your team of their value, achievements and how unique they really are.
Additionally, you should always ensure that everyone has access to the tools and know-how they’ll best use. There’s too many components in modern collaboration to not provide for this. Trial-and-error is becoming more expensive with technology evolving rapidly. What we had minutes, even hours to accomplish 20 years ago is now seconds in many scenarios. Give your team the encouragement they deserve and resources they can grab and go with on the fly. These tools are the lifeblood of your projects and are conducive to your shared success. Your team depends on them.
So keeping everyone in the loop, staying efficient and maintaining a good working environment is your takeaway here. As if the bottom line isn’t painfully obvious, reading between the lines with the simple things prioritized reveals the perfect recipe for successful project management and team collaboration. For us, these ideas have shaped Telescope into what it is today. If you haven’t already, give it a try and see how our basic and intuitive approach completes the “scope” of your outcomes.