No one has ever achieved anything great alone. You need an engaged team, motivated to perform and grow together. It also goes without saying that as Project managers we cannot succeed alone. We need people. We need a team – an engaged project team. After all, a very simple definition of the project manager’s role we can all agree to is this: delivering business value through people. Project management is about delivering business value through people.
Project management is about delivering business value through people.
From initiation to project closure, project leaders must engage their team members in order to successfully complete projects and deliver real business value. It is our responsibility as the leader to create an environment where team members thrive and business value delivery is assured. In this post, I’m sharing with you 9 practical tips to engage your project team to get them working more effectively to deliver exceptional business value.
- Discover your team’s talent, needs and expectations. During project initiation, meet with team members on a one-on-one basis to identify their strengths, interests and goals. For example, backend developer on an IT project might aspire to become a frontend developer or a process workflow designer and would welcome the challenge of working with someone in that area to solve specific problems.
It is our responsibility as the leader to create an environment where team members thrive and business value delivery is assured.
- Put those assets (strengths, interests, problem solving abilities) to good use, meet their needs and remove roadblocks that may impede their success, find ways to meet and exceed their expectations whenever possible.
- Connect with them before asking them to perform for you. My mentor John Maxwell says, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” Amazing things happen when your team trusts you, knows that you care for them and knows that you can help them succeed.
- Keep the vision – the big picture – in front of them. Help them understand how their interests and goals align with the team’s goal. Help them find meaning and purpose in their work.
- Have them identify areas of improvement within the project and ask the team to come up with ways to address them. This shows trust in your team.
- Engage your team in defining project activities and estimating activity duration during project planning. Have them review the project schedule to ensure that it is realistic. They will feel a sense of ownership and commitment towards the schedule and the plan.
Amazing things happen when your team trusts you, knows that you care for them and knows that you can help them succeed.
- Promote growth and innovation by setting appropriate development or learning goals for team members in addition to their operational or performance goals. An influential project leader cares not only about getting the work done, but also about project team’s growth.
- Facilitate a best practice session at the beginning of the project (instead of waiting for a post mortem) and pick the best ideas and asked everyone to help implement them. Make changes and tweak them as you go to fit the need of the team.
- Conduct frequent team outings and team-building activities to build relationships with your team and within the team. For example, celebrate birthdays each month; host a new-joiner’s induction activities or perhaps a bi-weekly happy hour.
An influential project leader cares not only about getting the work done, but also about the project team’s growth.
Remember, an engaged team will deliver results beyond your imagination. So, empower them and let them help you deliver the value your project promises.