What Is Team Management?
Team management is all about working with your team to help them collaborate and be more productive. It also refers to the activities and tools that allow teams to work better together. That means managing assignments, schedules, workload and more.
To best manage teams, you need to set clear objectives, help facilitate teamwork, have clear communications and oversee performance, while adjusting workload as needed to get the most out of your resources. This also means seeing issues and resolving them before they become problems that sidetrack the project.
Therefore, team management is a day-to-day activity when running a project. It touches almost every phase and method of project management. For example, when you’re scheduling a project and prioritizing tasks, what you’re doing is fundamental to team management.
Why Team Management Is Important
A team is the fuel that drives a project. They take tasks, and with expertise and experience, complete them according to your plan—on time and within budget. To do this requires thorough administering and coordinating.
That’s easier said than done. There are objectives to meet, communication channels to create, collaboration to foster and being able to appraise your team’s performance all while in the midst of running the larger project.
The main importance of team management, then, is that it helps to bring your project in successfully. But there are more benefits that might not be as evident.
Teams work better when they work together. But not everyone on a team clicks immediately. You must promote the collaborative nature that bonds team members into an effective team. That means assembling the right team and giving each member responsibilities that fit their skillsets. It’s the first task of team management, setting the stage.
We touched on this before, but it’s worth emphasizing. Team management serves the project by getting teams to work better. That doesn’t mean driving them until they burn out, which is counterproductive. Rather, it’s about balancing their workload, supporting them and removing obstacles that prevent them from succeeding at their tasks.
Teams are not static. You probably will use the same team for similar projects. The more experience they have, the better they’ll work. Having a team that is well managed means that, as you add new team members, they will have less of a learning curve and be helped to get up to speed by the more experienced members. As teams gain experience and skills they become a more valued asset.
Giving teams what they need to do their work is not only going to increase their productivity, but they’ll be happier. Happiness might seem insignificant in the larger business environment, but happy teams are not only more productive. They are easier to retain and mean less turnover, which saves money.
Similar to productivity, performance speaks to the larger subject of helping organizations meet their goals and objectives. Team management creates stronger teams that meet the targets of the larger organization while they work on the smaller tasks of individual projects.
What are the challenges of a virtual team?
The challenges of managing virtual teams are various – they include:
Causing or being a victim of a misunderstanding – because of a problem with your chosen communication system.
Occasional poorer performance – because of a lack of clarity and direction in your work.
A feeling of detachment from other people working in the team – because you get caught up in your own work and the lack of face-to-cafe interactions makes you forget about the other people in your team.
However, all of the listed challenges have a solution – you’ll just need to be patient in the execution of these solutions and experiment a little to find what works best for your team.
How do you overcome the challenges of virtual teams?
The short answer is – gradually and methodically.
As you grow in your career, managing teams is a necessity. You manage teams either directly or indirectly. Whether you are managing a small team or large team, a co-located team or virtual team, knowing the nuances, common pitfalls and best practices in team management will always be helpful. In fact, it can be an advantage too! In this program, you will learn the practical insights and management perspectives to manage teams well. Due to the times we live in, this program focuses a lot on the virtual aspects of team management.
This program is brought to you by a senior leader who has been managing virtual and multi cultural teams for the past 15 years.