What do you need for the whole team to work? How to tighten all the project management system?

    Over the past month I have spent 71 learning Skype call with a variety of companies. The task was to implement the project management system we are developing. The request from all who agreed to such a format is about the same - “How to draw a team into the project management system and the project itself?”. Or simply put: “ How to make everyone work? ".

    The first skype was long and not very productive, but starting from the 15th I felt the script and began to fill the table of the issued offers, depending on the company and the situation.

    In this article - 10 key recommendations for delaying the team in the project. All the ideas expressed below are suitable for work in any system, but some examples are given with the interfaces of our YouGile .

    An important fact is that the participants of the companies after the hour Skype worked in our system 8.5 times more actively than the average user. And 2.3 times more active in comparison with those who agreed on Skype, but later canceled the event.

    For a general understanding, I will cite several companies and their fields of activity, on the basis of communication with which a list of recommendations is compiled:

    • Video production. 36 people. Shooting advertising and short meter.
    • Gold mining plant . 25 people. Plan to reorganize the company.
    • Web-studio / SMM-agency . 12 people. Implementation of client projects.
    • Design and construction organization . 15 people. Develop projects for the reconstruction of residential buildings.
    • The builders of the baths. 28 people. Realization of objects.
    • Auditing Company. 20 people. Daughter of a large bank, management of projects for the audit units.
    • National Research University. Support department of 10 people. Keeping tickets and network upgrade projects.
    • IT development in the banking industry. 110-135 people. They write internal software.
    • Construction, rental and maintenance of shopping and entertainment complexes. About 100 people. Projects for the construction of facilities, repair, collection of debts.

    10 recommendations for tightening the team in the project

    1. Invent a board structure that matches the logic of business processes.

    This item is the most important and this is the first reason why any management system does not stay in the company for a long time.

    As a rule, the company lacks any prescribed processes. If they were not there before the advent of the control system, they will not appear after. Chaos persists. Before implementation it is worth sitting down and register in the form of an algorithm everything that you want to organize. And then figure out how to implement it in the system of boards with columns.

    Often the situation looks like this. “Young” PM (project manager) makes three columns - “New”, “In Work”, “Done” - and says to the team: “We are starting to work”. And ... The team does not work, at least in the system. The real process always has a lot of details and even the simplest processes from the three columns should have priorities and responsible ones.

    Here is another characteristic example of how not to.

    Imagine a simple work of an office manager, which can clearly be organized on the board in three columns:

    • The manager adds two people to the project - himself and the manager Lena.
    • Makes three columns - “New”, “In Work”, “Done”.
    • And he says: “I will add tasks to“ New ”and you need to do them. And yes, if you see yourself that something is needed, then add the task and proceed. The most important thing is that our office is very good and everyone wants to be here all the time. In short, we must make ourselves at home ... ”.

    That doesn't work! This is not a business process!

    In a week Lena will say that she did everything, she just didn’t have time to notice anything. After two - there will be tasks that are generally passed by. After three weeks, everything will return safely to the fact that the gen.dir. will regularly come to Lena and say what to do. If the company grows, he will try to “delegate” this responsibility - and now the head of HR will go to Lena and tell him what to do.

    To work, you need specifics, accuracy and iteration.

    For example:

    • Every Monday until 11:00, exactly five tasks should appear in the “In Work” column. Lena needs to choose the tasks with priorities placed from a large list of possible jobs. If there is time, you can solve other problems.
    • All urgent tasks must be labeled “Urgent” by those who set the task.
    • All tasks that lie in the work for more than one week should be with a deadline.
    • Every Friday at 5:00 pm there is a meeting between the manager and the office manager, where two questions are discussed: “What has been done?” And “What is planned to be done?”. According to the results of the scheduling, a list of possible works is compiled and discussed and priorities are set.

    Of course, this is only a possible example, everything strongly depends on the specific situation, even with such a simple process as working on an office. As usual, the devil is in the details: “What kind of specialist is Lena? How many people are in the office? What do they do in the office? What is the criterion of a good office? How many floors? What is the climate outside? ”And so on.

    Processes need to register exactly. Also just need to implement them in the control system. How to do this in complex development processes, for example, “new drilling systems” is a separate issue that goes beyond the article. In this training manual, we limit ourselves to the fact that the transition of processes into the information system begins with the formulation of processes.

    Here is an example of a board on which you can immediately say that work is underway. Visible specifics, all neat andYou can understand the process, even if you see the board for the first time . Actually, this is the main criterion for a satisfactory board - a new person must quickly understand what they are working on in the project and how everything is organized here.

    As a rule, when the process is well thought out - everything works and everything is in order with the involvement of the team. It occurs in about 10% of organizations. It would be possible to finish at this point, but there are still questions of the effectiveness of the team, and it happens that companies are going too far, imagining too much and trying to realize what is not.

    2. Do not complicate. Simple rules for all employees.

    Do not immediately add something that was not in the real process. A good example of excess can be a deadline. In practice, very often, with the advent of the management system in the company, deadlines appear on all tasks, although they did not exist before. You might think that deadlines characterize good company management, but this is not always the case. It is better to repeat the process that was in the company. And if there were no deadlines, you should not start with this simply because there is such an option in the control system.

    Deadline is the most favorite and most controversial way to manage time. If only because they will begin work when it is already lit or a little later. In more than half the cases when the process was discussed, it turns out that the deadline was added just like that, without really having strict deadlines in the processes. Any such overloading with new and not always pleasant formalities greatly reduces the likelihood of a team being successfully drawn in.

    All the rules of each employee should be simple. Well, if for every task a task can be formalized and comes down to always clearing some column with tasks.

    Examples of simple working rules that eventually become unspoken:

    • The employee is responsible for ensuring that the column is empty as soon as possible.
    • The employee is responsible for transferring all tasks with the “Important!” Priority to the last column by the end of the week.
    • In all the problems put the comment “With everything figured out” (for example, on the training board).
    • The employee is responsible for the maximum number of tickets taken from the first column.
    • The employee is responsible for filling the column with cards with exactly described problems at the facility. And by the end of the week is responsible for the fact that there are no other problems.
    • The employee is responsible for posting the photo on the day the work is completed.

    Of course, not all employees can do this. Well, if it happened with 30% of the team and with time it became obvious rules.

    And to contrast a few examples of rules that do not work:

    • The employee is responsible for maintaining the board.
    • The employee is responsible for the timely execution of tasks.
    • The employee is responsible for the quality of the writing of text descriptions.
    • The employee is responsible for selling and fixing it in the system.

    3. Assign a methodologist to follow the processes. Important - they should not be a leader!

    Immediately after writing simple rules, you need someone who will follow this. By the way, the need to assign someone to this role is guaranteed to require making the rules simple and fixed.

    Even if there are more than 5 people in a team, then the appointment of a person who concurrently monitors the project management agreements in the system is already justified, spending no more than 30 minutes a day for this. And the main thing is that it should not be a manager or a project manager!If the manager oversees the assignment of priorities, deadlines, timely tidying on the board and other formalities, he quickly loses the opportunity to discuss the quality of the work performed. Moreover, if in a small web-studio, for example, this is done by a young accountant, then everything will be neat and the process of discussing tasks will not essentially suffer.

    Similarly, in the sales department it is recommended to allocate someone sufficient sweet, who will follow the filling of cards in CRM. If this is done by the manager, then the discussion of the product or methods of client pressure will be in the background.

    The hardest part is finding the right person. According to my practice, not too much practice, this is the most calm and pleasant team person, the one with whom the most different people go to dinner. Every request to do something on the board or in the description of the problem is pronounced as neutral as possible or with some positive emotions and never causes resistance.

    4. Introduce iterative planning

    There is nothing new for those familiar with Scrum, Kanban and any other Agile approach. According to a survey from VersionOne , an iterative planning approach is used in 90% of teams. Including those who do not believe that they work with a flexible approach.

    If you, regardless of circumstances, have a bi-weekly review of all tasks and the updating of priorities, this is enough to say that the team has an iterative approach.

    The main benefit from the point of view of engaging the team is that the picture of the common cause of all team members will be updated and it will be clear to everyone that the project is alive and the tasks need to be done. About “alive” is not a joke. One of the main reasons for inaction in a large team is uncertainty: “Is this task still topical or not?”. For example, marketing has heard that there are problems with a product. Inside, a reasonable doubt arises: “Is it worth it to honestly promote it to the market?”

    In my practice of holding various kinds of regular general meetings, there was one problem. Over time, all get used to it, meetings become a formality, where real tasks may not be discussed at all. Everything goes into a group confirmation of the intention to somehow work.Everyone reports and tries to ensure that there are not very many questions and discussions.

    There is a working reception - a random moderator. Each time a random person from the team is assigned to the draw who asks the questions “What was done?” And “What is planned?”. And then tries to arrange a discussion of the details of each of the activities of the team. With a constant change of roles, it is impossible to get used to and form a formal relationship. All planners will be different and even emotional. The coolest is if the moderator is “stupid” , but using his temporary position, he asks questions. Then you have to understand very clearly what you are going to do and why.

    5. Add everyone to watch over others

    Give the opportunity to observe the development department of the movement of tasks in the marketing department or the foreman-bricklayer to look after the engineers who make the model of the new building. Of course, access must be given only for reading without the possibility of spoiling anything.

    Read access will be used from time to time. Someone more often, someone less often, but such conversations will begin to appear in the company: “I saw you released a new layout there ...” or “I read, the problem was fixed there ...”. Whenever someone said so, we can assume that several hours were saved for the team to clarify who did what.

    If transparency is set up in the company, there will be a lot of advantages in addition: a competitive effect, the motivation to carry out tasks carefully, and the entry of new employees will be facilitated. True, it is not so easy to implement transparency, especially in a large company. At first, many will not like this for various reasons. It is worth agreeing with the team on a temporary experiment, and a month later everything will take root.

    6. Observe involvement parameters

    They say it is very difficult to lose weight / gain weight without weights. I was lucky, my weight has not changed for 15 years. If you are also lucky and your team has also been working stably for many years, then feel free to go on to the next item or to the next article. In other cases, it is worthwhile to find a guideline for the overall involvement of the team in the project. Also, ideally, one should be able to look at each employee for the degree of his activity in the system, which, as a result, is related to his interest.

    For example, in YouGile there is a separate tool for this - the ability to see the activity of any actions for any group of users for any period of time. The result can be displayed either as a table or as a graph.

    Here is how the activity on the actions of our remote development group in the last 2 weeks looks like:

    It is striking that communication is much more than other actions.

    When a team is just starting to work in a project, the schedule looks like this:

    Most new tasks. After a while, the picture should change.

    Another example of monitoring activity in the design department. Board lay out files, where you can see the activity of providing layouts:

    Of course, you can not consider the effectiveness of the number of files laid out, as well as the development of lines of written code. But if nothing has been poured in for a week, then there is some difficulty. If the project for a few days dramatically failed to communicate with communication, most likely there are no urgent tasks or someone on vacation.

    7. Put down all the desktop version with auto start

    This is the simplest method that gives instant results. He immediately doubles the activity of using the project management tool. Just by putting all the desktop management system applications to everyone, immediately there will be twice as many tasks created, comments left and just information views.

    Team involvement is an intermittent process. In the beginning there is a barrier and you need to work to ensure that the team began to be interested in the overall picture in the company, to ask questions about small details. But at some point there is a sharp jump and the process goes effortlessly. Moreover, the team begins to protect and maintain what it was previously forced to implement.

    If you believe that the implementation of processes requires to overcome the barrier at the initial stage, then such a simple idea how to install the desktop version should work fine. Each participant in the morning will see the actual board with tasks and view the new changes in the cards to which they are signed. The habit will be formed faster.

    8. Ask a lot of questions

    Ask a hundred questions in the coming month in the task cards. The team is guaranteed to be involved. Regardless of your role in the team, tell me, how much do you say in your company of statements, commands, and how many questions do you ask? If the majority of communications pass through the control system, then it becomes possible to follow and discuss the discussions and analyze them.

    A few examples of comments to the tasks, each of which has a different effect on the employee’s involvement in the project:

    - “Lena, the layout was made poorly, without a soul, remake.”
    - “Lena, how long can you do tact? Redo everything! ”
    -“ Lena, and maybe the layout should be redone? This option does not seem to go? ”
    -“ Lena, what is your result? Should I redo it? ”
    -“ How do you like the result? Will we take it to the client? ”
    - “I can not understand why I do not like. Is it possible to improve something? ”
    -“ If you spend another two hours, will it be better? ”

    Even if tomorrow you specifically become a man-question, the level of management in the company will grow. The first to close are companies where too many tasks are put , and those with many questions that feel best of all.

    9. Publicly highlight results in the system and praise

    There is a good saying: “Negative - verbally, positive - in writing, negative - personally, positive - publicly”.

    When managing projects in any management system where you can communicate, this is especially true. If for each completed task to put a simple positive comment, all tasks will be closed in this system and as soon as possible.

    A popular practice is to create a “For Review” column on the board with the process. That's just such a column does not look very nice for someone who moves their tasks there. But everything changes drastically, if you make an installation to all the inspectors in advance: “Listen, when the task is all right, you do not just drag it to the“ Done ”column, but also write“ Looked, everything is fine ”.

    10. Putting time on addictive

    In a team, getting used to something new takes about one day per person. So, if there are 10 people in a team, it will take 10 days to complete the transition to new processes, if there are 100 people, it will take 100 days.

    There is a widespread situation when it is expected that the transition to the project management system will occur almost instantly, without any resistance, and even all the tasks will be done right on time.

    Be patient for a couple of weeks!

    Our site , where we update the system, which should delay the team in the project.

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