How to Improve Your Team’s Efficiency

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You need your project teams to work together and to be as productive as possible. And since you probably are using project collaboration software, you have a tool that helps the team to collaborate and helps to keep everyone up-to-date on the progress of their tasks. But, how can you get them to be more efficient with their time both individually and as a team? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explains.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

How to Improve Your Teams EfficiencyIn Review: How to Improve Your Team’s Efficiency

First, Jennifer explained efficiency is just another way of cutting out the waste, whether it be in materials, energy, effort, money or time. Removing waste means clearing the way to get the project teams collaborating together and running the whole project on schedule.

So, how do you improve your team’s efficiency? Jennifer suggests these four steps:

  1. Remove barriers – What gets in the way of a team member performing their task? Communicate about any personal or team blockers that might prevent the work from even getting started.
  2. Reward team behavior – Support individual performance and overall team performance, especially when they’re collaborating together to get the job done. Teams work well, when they’re supported and praised as a team.
  3. Set specific dates and follow-up – don’t just “set it and forget it” with your team. Know that you’re there for them, not by micro-managing, but by following up to see how they’re doing. Do they need support to get their tasks done on time? Are they being blocked? You won’t know unless you follow up.
  4. Clarify expectations – Make sure to communicate all the expectations for individuals and the whole team. Efficiency is not achieved in isolation. Make it clear to that team that they are to support each other as a team, in order for the entire project to succeed. And this starts with you as a vital member of the team. You model this early and often. 

Barriers can be anywhere and anyone, so make sure you’re not standing in the way of progress. Rewarding collaboration supports a culture of collaboration with the whole team, so acknowledge when the team has hit major and minor milestones together. Deadlines and following up on them is crucial to keeping work on track and knowing quickly when something is going off rail. Finally, clarification is key to good communication.

If you can put all these steps in place you’re on your way to running a more efficient team and a smoother sailing project.

Pro-Tip: Being a strong leader doesn’t only mean running efficient projects, your project team expects guidance on how to be more efficient together

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Today we’re talking about how to improve your team’s efficiency. And when we talk about efficiency, what we’re talking about is avoiding waste; waste of materials, energy, effort, money, and time in doing something, or in producing a desired result.

And the reason why we care about this in a project is because it can impact the time or the schedule for the project. It can also impact or overrun the cost on the project, or even the amount of scope that’s being produced.

So, here are a few tips to help improve your team’s efficiency and avoid waste. Number one, remove their barriers. We found that team members can have barriers in three areas. They can be a barrier to themselves, you as the project manager can be a barrier, or others on the team can be a barrier as well.

So, they can be a barrier to themselves if maybe they have bad habits, and you can help with that by coaching them, and mentoring them on those habits. They can have a lack of training or experience, so you may need to support them in getting that.

You as the project manager can be a barrier by micromanaging or continuing to re-prioritize their work, or giving them unnecessary task. Others on the project or even in the organization can become a barrier by continuing to re-prioritize or reassign them on projects, and ask them for special favors.

Number two, reward team behavior. You want to reward what you want to continue to get. And by having the team support each other, it’s helping them get a dependent task completed on time.

Number three, set specific dates and follow up. By following up with your team members, you can look for and listen for areas where they may be getting stuck.

Number four, clarify expectations to ensure they know what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how.

So, if you need a tool to help you improve your team’s efficiency and avoid waste, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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