What is the trade-off between task and goal management? How can you create the right sort of balance?
As a leader you’re likely under constant pressure to get your team to perform and achieve planned goals. Although the completion of tasks often lead to goal achievement, this may not always happen. The result is a frustrating situation for the entire team.
Here are 5 simple ways to improve project management and ensure your team is positioned to deliver on their goals:
Short and Mid-Term Goals
As a team leader you have a vision about the end results of your team’s efforts. This vision sets the pace for individual and team goals. Once you create a team goal you can funnel it down and divide it into goals for individuals within the team. Weekly and monthly goals should be set and prioritized in advance. A kick-off meeting before the beginning of a project helps to communicate team goals more clearly.
After clearly explaining the team and individual goals, start assigning tasks to individuals. This could be preceded by short meetings with key individuals. These meetings help everyone gain clarity on what it will take to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. Also, as a team lead, you are better able to understand potential bottlenecks that may arise during the project. It is then your responsibility to eliminate bottlenecks and keep the team motivated.
Task and Time Tracking
As the team lead, ensure daily tracking on all tasks. This can be achieved easily using online tools like Wrike, Smartsheet, DropTask, or Trello. The time taken to complete tasks should be measured against preset targets. You can take it a step further by analyzing weekly time tracking data against goals. Checking in with the team, providing feedback and recognition is also an important step.
Goals Take Priority
To ensure productivity and effective time management it’s helpful to keep goals in front of the team in creative ways. Laying emphasis on goals and motivating the team to achieve them, helps making individuals on your team more accountable. At the same time, it also provides much needed flexibility. Daily supervision should be replaced with more delegation and responsibility. This improves overall team performance in the long run.
Reviewing Achieved Goals
The end of the goal period should be devoted to an analysis of the achieved targets. Any gaps should be carefully reviewed along with task and time tracking data. Besides that, a team meeting should be held to discuss the wins and shortfalls. A review meeting can help refine the goal achievement metrics for individuals and the team as a whole.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Veronika Tondon is a small business enthusiast and Marketing Manager with Invoicera, a leading cloud invoicing solution. She writes about emerging technologies and opportunities for business. Connect with @invoicera on Twitter.