When putting together an effective team, you need to ask a number of questions. Although there might not be a definitive answer to them all, merely discussing them will in itself make your team run better, faster and more efficiently.
What is success?
It’s extremely important that you, early on in the process, define what “a success” is for the team – and how you measure it. Without clear goals, you will never be able to know when to celebrate and when you need to work harder.
Don’t move the finish line
As a team manager, it’s important to clarify when something is a new thing, a new task, a new challenge – and when the team members are not done with what they set out to do. A few things can drag the energy out of a team; for example, when they feel they have almost reached their goal, but suddenly realise this is not the case. Therefore, draw a line in the sand instead, and state it clearly when a task is something new.
Clear tasks – clear responsibilities – clear expectations
It’s very important to make sure that everyone in the team knows what he or she is supposed to do. Assigning several people the responsibility of the same thing is an almost certain way of creating confusion, frustration, conflict – and not least missed deadlines. So, remember: When everyone is responsible – no one is responsible.
All in all, good team management is about communication, structure, planning (most people hate surprises) and clarification of expectations. The first step towards improving team effectiveness is to make sure that everyone is on the same page, that everyone is heard, and that the team as a whole is steering towards the same goal.