A great team is your essential resource to success. Most of the time, we don’t get to choose our team members however they are pre- appointed. The initial element to kick-off a project is to acknowledge your team members’ capabilities and believe that each one is a valuable resource.
Mixing together the right ingredients creates a pleasant outcome, and to do so, we need to first understand the team members’ capabilities, skills, preferences, weaknesses, and strengths and accordingly assign the specified tasks.
I’m sure each one of you has experienced in one way or another managing a project whether it was a school project or building a flyover. You may find it weird comparing these two events, yet, if you think of it carefully you would realize that both require planning, managing people and delivering taks. Thus when I first was asked at work to manage a project from A to Z, I felt stressed and was wondering how would I put together all those variables in one basket and produce a positive outcome. Nothing to hide, yes my first experience was tough and required a lot of effort and time.
The most challenging part was managing a team from different backgrounds, ages and cultures. In the beginning I faced resistance from some of the team members, as I was new and the youngest yet enthusiastic and ready to accept challenges.
Let me share with you one of the incidents, I have asked one of my team members to improve the inventory process as it was out of control, he simply told me: “I’m already working with the IT to create a process on the SAP system to control the inventory” so I was like that’s great, please invite me in your upcoming meetings. Each time I was asking for an update, he kept on playing around the answers till I figured out that he is not willing to share or accept anything from me. Meanwhile, I started working with my other members to creating sort of log sheets and tracking systems to control the flow of activities. Of course he noticed the progress and his colleagues acceptance. I made sure to make him busy and continue doing what he likes while fixing other sections till the day came and he asked me for assistance in the inventory system and I immediately said: “Sure lets do it!”
So do you think that relying on others to complete tasks could be an obstacle in delivering a project?
With time I realized that trusting the team and believing in its capabilities are the two main drivers to overcome difficulties. In other words, it is challenging to manage processes while you have an incontrollable team. I had to spend a lot of time with the team to discover their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, preferences … etc. in order to delegate the right task to the right person. As we were moving through the different phases of the project life cycle, I had to initiate a lot of different tactics to motivate the team and lead them to the same vision. We agreed to have regular meetings, feedbacks, seek support from each other when needed, work as one team, reward ourselves once we accomplish any phase and so on.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”~ Helen Keller