Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: Vojtěch 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 our deadline.
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 positive outcome.
Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates