There some tools that can be used to assess a project team’s readiness for faster pace and they can help determine if a team’s performance can be fully maximized or just keep it at the same pace as it is in the present. Tools such as Speed Readiness Assessment may be an appropriate way to measure a team’s readiness for one kind of methodology but a little bit of tailoring can serve the purpose for any other technique or strategy.
Tools that evaluate a team’s readiness are important because of the pressure that a schedule places on most projects. Since they are tools and not tests, they can gauge any project manager on the status of his or her team as of the present time. It can also help assess the areas that need improvement.
Without the need of a tool, an effective project manager can also evaluate the right time to put his team on speed. He or she knows that when the project’s goals and objectives are clear and there are enough resources and skills to perform the tasks, speed can be put to turbo mode. There may be some challenges along the way but this is what managing a project is all about. The important thing is that the knowledge, skills and talents of the members are fully utilized so that they end up reaching maximum productivity. How do project managers do this?
- The Team. It all boils down to a basic theory in project management: effective management of the team. An effective project manager builds a team culture that is based on trust, effective conflict management, commitment, accountability, nurturing and promptness in delivery of results. This is the key to producing high-performing teams. However, a teaming culture needs to be developed and maintained. At this point, the role of the project manager is very important since leadership and team building are the building blocks to successful teams.
- The Processes and Environment. No matter how ready the team members are, if there are challenges in the processes, standards, norms, and procedures that are in conflict with the way they perform their tasks, the team isn’t ready to speed up yet. Before a team gets ready to move faster, distractions should be eliminated and all relevant information are properly organized. All tools necessary for their tasks should also be ready anytime. An effective environment is essential in promoting speed in any project team.
On the other hand, there may not be a need to go faster if the team avoids the problem by starting the project earlier and by setting expectations as well as managing commitments. Minimizing the risk of over-eager commitment through the active managing of the senior manager’s expectations can also help.
If it is not possible to avoid the problem, then the team needs to deal with it by considering a few options such as reducing scope and requirements, planning on more parallel tasking, breaking the project into chunks, reducing dependencies with each other, and taking a greater risk. Another way would be to enlist the help of the sponsor or stakeholders. How could they help speed up the project? If they will support fully, then your team can boost into faster speed.