The success of any organization is dependent not only on their long-term vision and goals, but also how they manage their team in achieving them. Long-term goals are achieved through long-term projects, which themselves are made up of smaller projects and goals; and it is these smaller goals and projects that create complexity in execution and management.
So how can you manage your team on long-term projects without complicating matters? Use a combination of technology, smaller goals and tasks, and regular feedback to not only manage, but also motivate.
Break the Project into Smaller Tasks
Completing a large project is easier when it is broken into smaller tasks and then assigned to individuals or teams. This also boosts productivity since there is a sense of achievement each time an individual task is completed. This is where an acceleration team shines!
Use Visual Aids
Use pie charts and bar graphs to visually represent where you and your team stand in terms of the project and its smaller goals. It is an excellent motivator, regardless of where you stand, but be sure to share them with your team.
Use Action Boards
Building on the idea of using visual aids, don’t only visually represent the larger goals and progress to achieving them; use visual aids to show the smaller goals that feed into the big goal, remembering that each small goal achieved is a step closer to the bigger goal. This entrenches accountability, but also serves as a strong motivator.
Allow Your Team to Set Goals
Instead of drawing up goals for your entire team, ask them to work through the project and compile their own set of goals. This needn’t be a long exercise, but you will see a much better commitment from everyone if they feel they have been more involved with the project from inception.
Goals Must be S.M.A.R.T.
You should be familiar with the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Whether it is each teams members individual goals, or the goals for the project as a whole, always verify that they are S.M.A.R.T. There should also be quarterly goals that are linked to moving the company forward, and to achieving bigger goals.
Commit to Weekly Updates
This applies to both you and your team. Ask them to submit weekly feedback on their individual progress and obstacles, which you can then collate into a master document to highlight overall progress. This also gives everyone an opportunity to raise concerns, allowing for appropriate action to be taken in advance.
Use Online Project Management Tools
One of the most popular tools for managing large projects, goals and teams is Basecamp. With Basecamp you are able to create separate pages for each goal or project, and then assign teams to them. Basecamp is especially useful if your team is spread across the country, or even the world, allowing all discussions to be centralized and accessible to everyone.
Use CRM Software
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software solutions are great not only for managing customers and sales leads, but also for managing large projects. Keeping all contact information and communication in a central location makes it easier for anyone to hand over part of a project to someone else, while also allowing you to monitor achievements and progress overall.
Use Task Management Software
Two wonderful solutions for breaking big projects into smaller tasks, and then monitoring the progress, are Trello and Asana (and you know how we love Asana). Each large project can be broken down into smaller projects and tasks, and then assigned to team members. Any comments and notes regarding each task happens within the programs, and are accessible to all team members.
About Project Acceleration Services:
At PAS, we provide on demand project management, scheduling and documentation services. Eliminate your need to hire expensive project managers for your organization and instead you use the project management services that you need when you need them. Contact us today for a consultation!