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Unite Your Team with Shared Goals

Overview

Is your project team set to win?
Are they spending too much time in conflict resolution?
Is taking too long to make decisions?

Few would argue against the value of goal directed work. But in most projects, the only person on the team with the single objective of completing the project is the project manager. The project manager, with limited organizational authority must somehow sort the conflicting goals and still achieve the project’s objective.

Learn how to get all your team members playing on the same team towards a common goal and learn how damaging it is for your project success when there is an absence of aligned goals.

Is your project team set to win?

Are they spending too much time in conflict resolution?

Is taking too long to make decisions?

Hi, I’m Mark Woeppel, president of Pinnacle Strategies. Keep watching this video to learn how to get all your team members playing on the same team towards a common goal and learn how damaging it is for your project success when there is an absence of purposeful goals.

Think of your project team like a football team. Not every player has the same position, some should score, some should assist, some should block the other team from scoring. The team’s goal at the end of the day is to score more goals than the other team. Are all your team members aligned towards a single goal?

Most project teams consist of a variety of skill sets: technical experts, operations experts, subcontractors, supply chain management, financial controllers, schedulers, just to name a few.

Each of these team members are placed on the team to accomplish the goal of the project. But they are usually there temporarily, so they still have to satisfy their functional goals as well.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say the main goal for the project is completing the hotel: opening day.

There are necessary conditions as well, like cost and schedule, but the goal is to complete the hotel.

Now, for example, we add the buyer to the team. Is her goal to complete the hotel?

Well, yes, but she also has to deliver a good price. Her boss (who is not on the project) has told her that she has to make her purchase cost variance numbers come in favorably.

So she has found what’s needed for the project from two suppliers. She can get it from a reliable supplier who charges more, or another who is reliable sometimes. Which one do you think she’ll pick? Of course, she’ll take a chance on the unreliable supplier because she wants to keep her job.

In this case, we have two people on the team whose goals do not quite match.

Now, let’s add the financial controllers. Is their goal to deliver the project? Maybe their goal is budget compliance. Now we have three people on the team with three different goals.

What will these team members do? Sacrifice their career to the project? Highly unlikely. Instead, what the project team will have is contention. And that slows everything down.

Few would argue against the value of goal directed work. But in most projects, the only person on the team with the single objective of completing the project is the project manager. The project manager, with limited organizational authority must somehow sort the conflicting goals and still achieve the project’s objective.
When functional goals are aligned, the velocity of work increases. It’s easy to make decisions.

The project team must share a common goal and a view of the rules of the game. When functional goals are aligned, each member of the team is free to act in the best interest of the project, without conflicting goals from functional or other areas. This eliminates the source of a lot of internal conflict and speeds decision making and action.

Think of your project team like a football team. Soccer for the Americans. The team’s goal at the end of the day is to score more points than the other team. But not every player has the same position, some should score and some should assist and some should block the other team from scoring, and some need to be able to do it all. However, all of their activities subordinate to the main goal of scoring more points than their opponent. Can you imagine how effective a team would be if everyone only wanted to score a goal and no one blocked the other team?
You’ve played on that team, haven’t you?

In most organizations, I don’t see a conflict between goals, but rather an absence of aligned goals and an absence of guidelines that define ‘good’ performance. Typically, it’s up to the project manager to define these goals and rules to get the team aligned.

Aligning the team’s goals is a critical part of setting up the team to win. We use simple measures to guide behavior.

Things like:

Velocity – the speed of task completions

Rework – how often we don’t have to do things over

Ratio of work to time – identify the risk of late completion throughout the execution process

Those are just a few, but the main idea is that the team must have ONE goal and you’ll have to ferret out the conflicts and remove them. Simple, right?

When you’ve aligned the functions to the goal of the project, your team will be set up to win. They won’t be spending time resolving the conflicts between your project and their function, which speeds decision making and project completions.

Learn more about how to improve project execution by reading some of our eBooks or watching more of our videos. Particularly, our Why Do Projects Succeed or Fail? Discover What Really Makes a Difference in Projects eBook includes some very practical information you can use right now to improve your project performance.

Great organizations are great at executing. Pinnacle Strategies designs and delivers innovative strategies to help organizations execute well. If you are looking to transform your business, let’s talk.

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