Understanding How 90% of Companies Increased Team EfficiencyAUTHOR: David Miller
Effective teamwork is the backbone of a thriving business. Imagine a scenario where a growing company has the projects and resources to take their business to the next level but are being let down by poor team productivity. This scenario is more common than one might imagine and highlights the need to understand the team’s needs in order to improve efficiency.
Successful project completion requires all involved departments and teams to align their schedules and resources. This applies to everyone, from stakeholders to designers to marketing.
As you may imagine, a collaboration of this magnitude can become a headache very quickly, as everyone has their own goals and tasks to complete.
A survey highlighted the importance of team efficiency with 97% of workers stating that a lack of collaboration within a team directly impacts the outcome of a project, while 86% blamed ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Five Tips to Improve Team Efficiency
While factors that affect an individual employee’s productivity are varied and circumstantial (stress, job satisfaction, etc.), team projects are often driven downhill by avoidable factors such as poor organization, lackluster management of tasks, a lack of communication, and alignment between different departments, among others.
Here are five strategies that 90% of companies use to improve team efficiency during a project and consequently, boost the entire business:
1. Use a Project Management Software
Spreadsheets and sticky notes are just not enough when keeping track of complex projects involving multiple people. A project management software is a comprehensive set of tools that allows team members to work and communicate in one single space rather than resorting to scattered communication.
A project management software allows everyone on the team to see the tasks, who they are assigned to, the progress of each task, and overall project status, etc. This streamlines various processes and smoothens the communication between team members. Good software solutions and tools also allow members to work from home, which research has shown boosts employee productivity.
2. Proper Delegation
A global survey by PWC in 2016 showed that 55% of CEOs are worried about a lack of trust negatively impacting their business’ performance. A company is not a one-man show, and neither is a project. A vague and improper delegation from the higher-ups will burden employees and hinder their productivity.
Once a project’s goals are set, and the right project management software is chosen, it is time to hold a one-on-one meeting with team members to communicate their individual tasks and goals clearly. Always “over-communicate”, that is to say, do not leave anything to assumption or guessing. Clear goals, instructions, and time-frames improve team productivity.
Delegation happens in many forms. For example, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) can delegate an IT manager to hold negotiations for a new contract with a supplier or an executive manager can delegate the decision making for an office redesign to the design team.
You can adopt a project management software to ensure tasks are delegated to relevant teams easily. With a simple project management tool, you can also manage multiple tasks on a single platform and track time spent on each task, making it easy to meet deadlines.
3. Set Attainable Goals
Project managers need to take a step back and clearly see what their goals are and how they can be achieved. Grand goals are easy to conceive but involve a ton of smaller goals and targets that need to be met first. The importance of goal setting is to set realistic goals that are actually achievable is the key to increasing team productivity.
Ideally, managers and team leads need to set small goals or targets that employees can meet throughout the process of completing a complex project. These smaller goals help in increasing team performance and are a great way to recognize an employees’ hard work, which, in turn, boosts engagement and productivity.
In fact, Harvard Professor Teresa Amabile looked at hundreds of workers across different industries and came to the conclusion that “of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work.”
Effective, clear feedback is essential to increase team productivity. Whether the feedback is good or bad, it has to be given in a constructive, meaningful way in order to build a culture of trust and honesty among team members. Before delivering feedback, take time to reflect on
- whether the message is being conveyed in a non-hostile manner, and
- does it send the desired message across
Feedback helps in a projects’ continual evolution and helps managers decide if the assigned goals are still relevant. It also drives discussions related to the project’s progress and the workloads given to different team members.
The effectiveness of feedback was highlighted through a Harvard Business Review, which stated that 72% of people feel their performance would improve if their managers provided corrective feedback rather than just blind praise and recognition.
5. Track and Measure Everything
Improving team performance can only be done if every task is overseen correctly. If you do not know where and how changes are required, you cannot make them. Therefore, project management tools to track everything and also measure meaningful metrics. This can give insights on future steps that are necessary.
It is important to measure the right metrics for your team rather than a generic and vague assessment.
A few metrics you need to consider include:
- Time spent on each project
- Time taken to complete a task
- Work progress speed
- Number of reworks or iterations
Track the progress to see if employees are on track to meet their targets and if not, then feedback and changes need to be implemented. On the other hand, if the targets are on track, then scale efforts and show appreciation accordingly.
Improve Team Efficiency With Project Management Software!
Collaboration and team efficiency have always been the pillars of a successful company. And while project management software solutions can increase team productivity, help in the effective delegation, and communicate big roles to every team member effectively, project managers and higher-ups also need to use tools to keep track of everyone’s progress and tailor action based on every individual’s needs.
Project management can be quite a hectic task. But with adequate software and tools, every company can execute projects smoothly and elevate their bottom line.