I often say that a project must be tackled in baby steps. What I mean by this is to take things slow and break things down into smaller parts so the overall task or project itself is easier to manage.
Smaller projects are usually simpler to manage as there are usually fewer endearing components in play which make things a lot less complicated to break down overall. When handling a more extensive project, you need a larger team to be focused on it. This team would then need to be broken down into smaller clusters within the team and each cluster will be focused on handling their designated area of the project.
In order for your team to function effectively, they need to understand the objective outcome of the tasks they are responsible for along with having a good understanding of the motivation behind the project as a whole. This means that, in order for you to fully reap the benefits of that outcome at the end of the project, it is your responsibility to communicate clearly along the way.
So, what’s the best way to break your project down and how can you articulate it more effectively to your team members?
Create a clear business case for the project along with a plan of how each task will be broken down and tackled by each team and cluster within the team/s. The business case will give an in-depth explanation of the motivation behind the project both in principle and from a financial perspective.
Choose an effective project management app that will make communication and task assignment more efficient. Whichever app you decide to go with must be easy to use, ensuring that all tasks are easily accessible and that team members can communicate with each other through it.
In order to improve focus and clarity for the team members, you have the opportunity to break tasks down as they are being assigned. This will greatly help the team understand what needs to be accomplished. Another way of facilitating this is to give clear instructions and present examples of what the desired output needs to look like.
Resist the urge to be vague when giving instructions through an app; write plainly, list things out step by step, make sure it is understandable, and customize instructions in a logical way so that team members get the information they need to receive when they need it.
In past projects, there were times when I spent far more time than necessary, trying to understand what was being asked of me as the information I needed in order to complete the task was not clearly broken down. Break lengthy tasks down into bullet points if need be and always check spelling as one incorrect word could easily change the sense of the instruction. I should be the last person to criticize readability, but, if instructions are not understood, you can’t expect the task to be completed correctly.
Remember that any task assigned is part of the bigger picture so be transparent and allow other team members to visualize what the project’s desired outcome is. By doing this, you will be facilitating their comprehension of how their assigned task is connected to other team members’ tasks and of course the overall project itself.
One element that is often missed is task review. Directives are often dictated without having first been reviewed. The review should be done internally as well as being checked by a source outside the team.
There’s nothing worse than issuing a directive and then having to retract it as it didn’t meet expectations. This occurs when there is no quality control, a project manager/team manager needs to be involved before the implementation stage and a sufficient number of task review checkpoints need to be in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Every project must meet its due date and this is why having clearly communicated tasks are important. When a task is assigned, it should be clearly understood. To achieve this, a clear picture of what needs to be done needs to be laid out, and there should be quality control checks in place, to ensure that the due date will be met.
Ensure you have built a culture of support where team members respect each other and are willing to provide assistance when needed.
This requires having an open-door policy and smooth communication channels. This can be done through the project management app you would have chosen to use, but there should also be an alternative channel such as email.
Having adequate lines of communication ensures that problems are dealt with and the deadlines for tasks are met because there is an open line of support for team members should they need it. You wouldn’t want staff morale and your project to suffer because the culture shames, abuses, or ignores team members looking for assistance with completing their assigned tasks.
A project is made up of many moving parts, and the project needs a well-managed and motivated team in order to put them all together for the project to come to a close.
When we communicate effectively, everyone understands what is expected of them in an open supportive environment. This is a good sign for you to know that your project is being managed well and will meet its required deadline.
Need help in identifying areas of your project that needs more effective task management? Then reach out to me and lets meet to see how I can help you.