Team Coordination – The Ultimate Herding Exercise.

It’s that time of year again… when most of our clients begin to kick off their new plans, initiatives and projects to reach their organizational goals. Here in the Client Services department, it’s pretty obvious if you look at our call log that everyone is back in full effect!

It’s a wonderfully exciting time of year. The goals have been set and the targets have been identified. The final assignments are being made for your team members.  This critical piece in executing your plans is also where the wheels can potentially come off. Coordinating one team member to work towards your goals is usually not a problem. The obstacle usually appears when you are interacting with several team members, departments and divisions to obtain your results.

Surely one team member could never be hard to coordinate?

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However, when it comes to initiatives, plans and projects. We have all lived through it at least once where it’s more like herding cats:

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Improved team coordination and collaboration towards your goals not only gives you the best chance of reaching your results, but also can improve employee satisfaction. In the article, A CEO’s New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Employee Satisfaction, from Entrepreneur magazine http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241497 , improving team coordination and communication is the best way to improve employee satisfaction.  It also gives you a clear way to accelerate the company forward.

According to the author, Ron Yekutiel, there are ten ways to improve team coordination. Six of them are most relevant in the results management area:

  1. Realign around vision and mission
  2. Clarify roles
  3. Monitor success
  4. Empower employees
  5. Improve communication
  6. Hold regular meetings

When it comes to coordinating your team members, the most important aspect for your projects and plans is a clear path to success. That means your assignments identify a key responsible party as well as other team members who are supporting the efforts.  This level of clarity allows you as the project coordinator to get a handle on who is involved, how they are progressing towards your goals and how to channel communications around certain aspects of the project.

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As the plan coordinator, you have to take moments throughout the year to monitor the project’s progression. Too often, I hear of organizations that only do annual checkpoints or every six months. This lag time between checkpoints usually means that most activity will occur in the last month prior to the checkpoint. Consider coordinating your team members together more frequently to monitor their progress towards the results you have identified. This is not an attempt to micromanagement but rather allow an opportunity to communicate as a group on the pending assignments.

This streamlined coordination allows your team members to feel empowered to put their heads down and run hard towards the finish line. Completing projects that are critical to the team improves each team member’s morale by connecting them to the great mission of the organization. Empowerment and clarity also creates space for team members to brainstorm on other ways they can help reach new targets.

What other ways have you coordinated your team members to avoid confusion on a project?

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Maria Frantz
Maria Frantz
Maria Frantz is AchieveIt’s VP of Operations, a proud Georgia Tech Grad, and a Master of Statistics. When she’s not building strategic plans you can find Maria painting and haphazardly attempting to learn how to play the violin, guitar, and trumpet.