Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: Vojtìch Vlk
"My team is working on a difficult
implementation project that is taking more time than expected.
The team is starting to bicker and I feel pressure from the client
to make changes that were not originally planned, while still meeting
There are many factors that influence the outcome of a successful
project, including the team leader's ability to create an accepting
and enthusiastic atmosphere where all involved feel good about
the changes that are being imposed upon them. Tough challenges
require strong teamwork, and the characteristic most needed among
teammates amid pressure of a difficult project is collaboration.
In this case, collaboration extends beyond your own team to include
the clients' team
- Collaborative teams have characteristics that separate them
from typical teams, such as perceiving themselves as one unit
working together instead of two separate teams. Seek out potentially
competitive team members and strategically bring them together
by sharing information and solving problems working side-by-side.
Team members working side by side can see what's going on and
have more reason to trust each other.
- Focus on the team's success instead of the outcome. If the
team is successful, then the project will be too. Dale Carnegie
said, "Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly
are small jobs. If you do little jobs well, the big ones tend
to take care of themselves." In other words, focus on assuring
that each step taken along the implementation path is satisfactory
and meets the clients' expectations. When agreement is met at
each phase of the project before moving onto the next, there
will be little reason for incongruity later.
- Get results through synergy. When teams work together remarkable
results are possible because collaboration has a multiplying
effect as it harnesses and releases skills, ideas, enthusiasm,
and commitment. Closely involving team members from the client's
side together with your staff make them aware of implementation
challenges. They also become part of the solution, share the
failures, and have a vested interest to achieve a timely and
Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive
Director, LeMoine & Associates
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