Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Team Development - What is Success?

One of the biggest challenges I face as a team lead is getting the Team's Sponsor and Team Members to agree up front to a common SMART charter. (link) Ironically, this is by far the most important factor in leading a successful team or project. Simply said, how do you proceed or succeed if you do not know what success is ???

Some reasons why people are resistant?
  • "We" all "know" what the project or team goal is... Why waste time documenting it ?
  • "We" need to fix the "whole" problem no matter our funding, resources, timeline, etc... How many resources are required is irrelevant ?
  • "We" need to fix the "whole" problem with this project or team. Besides we all share a common vision for this project, process, system, etc. Why waste time developing and documenting MGPP's? (link)
  • "We" will work it as fast as we can... Why waste time creating schedules and milestones ?

Based on experience with hundreds of projects and teams. Take the time and effort to create a SMART charter and plan. (and MGPP when applicable). The reasons why:

  • Only by writing this down clearly and specifically can you ensure everybody shares a common vision. Because "we" can not read minds and everyone enters the team with unique histories, attitudes, goals, interpretations, etc.
  • Team morale is crushed and momentum stalls when the reality of having too few resources, too big of a scope, too long of a timeline, etc becomes apparent. People like to be part of a successful team and dislike things that drag on.
  • Sponsor support and engagement is critical to maintaining team energy, they must be engaged. People want to feel someone is interested in what they are doing and they appreciate someone who helps remove road blocks.
  • Teams need intermediate goals or milestones to provide urgency and to ensure they are on schedule. Without these problems would not be identified until it was too late to resolve them.

Did I miss anything?

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