The success of your team is key to your success as a Project Portfolio Manager and to the success of your company. If you have a team that is underperforming, much of the responsibility may lie on your own shoulders. It is important to take the time to examine the performance of your team and determine what you can do to build your employees into a high performing team.
Characteristics of a High Performing Team
They understand the big picture: company objectives, strategies and goals, and how they are aligned to the projects.
They work collaboratively toward the success of the team and the project, instead of only individual success
- They are honest and have high expectations of one another, bringing out the best in themselves and others
- They take steps to continuously develop their professional skills
They celebrate achievements and results and show appreciation.
They never give up, correcting the course when necessary
- They follow best practice routines to generate consistent quality results
Factors that Cause a Loss of Performance
Poorly communicated expectations
- Actions required to properly complete tasks are not clearly defined.
- Processes or procedures are not in place or not upheld consistently
- Inconsistent performance monitoring
Lack of rewards for success and lack of consequences for failure.
Managers that are not invested in their team and its success.
- Inadequate skills and capabilities due to poor training and insufficient tools.
Tips to Increase Performance
A manager can overcome many problems through proper and frequent communication. This includes communicating strategy and goals, feedback on performance, expectations, opportunities for growth, and the list goes on. Make an effort to meet with each team member informally to encourage open communication.
Align Goals with the Company Culture
Employees should be aware of the core values and strategies of your company. The portfolio manager and project teams should work together to set goals that align with those of the company. This helps the employees to be a true part of the company and recognize that their performance affects the success of the company. When you choose Meisterplan as your PPM software, you can assign each project to a business goal to easily ensure that your projects are aligned to your company’s strategies.
Monitor Goals and Priorities
Ensure that there is a system to monitor expectations. If an expectation is not being reached, make an action plan that will help your team accomplish the goal. Make sure to follow through on the plan and continually monitor progress. Perfection isn’t expected, but there is always room for improvement and growth.
Coach Your Team
Training is an on-going process. Managers want to continuously develop their team. Employees must learn to work together productively. As a manager, you can facilitate this by matching each employee’s tasks to their strengths where possible. When you see weak areas, be sure to address them and offer any additional training that is necessary to ensure that your team has adequate skills and capabilities to successfully accomplish their jobs. Give constructive feedback frequently throughout the year as a way to train and develop, which will raise the team’s performance.
Include Your Team
Give your team an opportunity to take part in the meetings and to give input regarding goals and strategies. Listen to understand how things look from their perspectives, which shows them that you value their input. Performance will increase when your team feels valued, and you will gain insight to improve the business.
Recognize Your Team
Look for opportunities to recognize employees who are doing their jobs well. Showing more appreciation to your team creates a positive work environment. It encourages employees to keep the cycle of appreciation going by offering great customer service. Employees will be more satisfied with their jobs and will consider the company as part of their long term career plans. It can be as easy as a simple spoken thank you or a thank you note.
The overall attitude of the team can have a large effect on results. Determine if there is an attitude among the team that is limiting results. If the overall attitude of the team is negative, meet with your team to discuss changes that can be made to cultivate a new attitude that focuses on success.
Use the Right Technology and Tools
Make sure that you have the right technology and tools that best fit your team’s needs. Reevaluate your technology. For instance, is your PPM Software doing everything that you need it to do? Are you using an interactive and versatile PPM tool, like Meisterplan, so you can add new projects, manage resources, and determine your most profitable projects without needing multiple Excel spreadsheets on the side? If you do have the right technology, are you using it to its full potential? Is your whole team properly trained on the technology and tools they should be using? If everyone is using and trained on the right technology, you will save time and frustration, which leads to a happy and productive team.