By Jordan Lewis
December 6, 2023
Nurturing a high-performing team is the cornerstone of success, specifically on project management teams. A well-supported team not only delivers results, but they also thrive on collaboration and continuous improvement. In this article, we’ll dive into the art of supporting team performance within the framework of project management, and we will explore strategies for recognizing hard work, fostering growth, and providing effective feedback.
Recognizing Hard Work - Fueling Motivation:
Recognition serves as a powerful motivator, instilling a sense of accomplishment and boosting team morale. Regardless of whether or not the project team practices agile or waterfall methodologies, acknowledging achievements both big and small can foster a culture of dedication to the team. Here’s how you can do that effectively:
Frequent Celebrations: Celebrate small victories at the end of each project, sprint, iteration, or milestone. Highlight specific contributions and commend the team’s collective effort. This not only reinforces the value of teamwork but also sets the stage for continuous improvement.
Personalized Appreciation: Acknowledge individual contributions in team meetings. A personal thank-you note or shout-out can make team members feel seen and valued. This recognition goes a long way in building a positive atmosphere!
Public Praise: Use collaborative tools or communication channels to publicly recognize accomplishments. Sending a Slack or Teams message and giving a team member a shout out can go a long way to building confidence in team members. Sharing success stories with the broader organization can also showcase the team’s impact on the organization as a whole.
Fostering Growth and Identifying Opportunities
In project management, growth isn’t just about project outcomes—it’s also about the professional development of team members. While the outcome of the project is important, it is vital to remember that personal development is what makes us the best project managers we can be. Here’s how to create an environment that supports growth and spotlights opportunities:
Skill Mapping: Regularly assess team members’ skills and interests. Align these with project needs to identify skill gaps and potential areas for growth. Allowing team members to weigh in on projects that require their specific skill set can also help them to feel valued on the team. Encouraging cross-training and skill sharing can also help to promote versatility.
Learning Opportunities: Offer access to training, workshops, and resources that align with the team’s goals and the individual’s aspirations. Whether it’s coding skills, leadership training, or time management techniques, nurturing continuous learning benefits everyone!
Challenging Assignments: Assign tasks that stretch team members’ capabilities. Providing opportunities to tackle new challenges cultivates resilience and promotes innovation. Managers should be sure to offer support and guidance along the way.
Constructive Critique for Growth: Constructive feedback is the cornerstone of improvement, yet its delivery can be delicate. In project management, feedback is integral to personal and professional development. Here’s how to ensure your feedback is impactful and beneficial:
Timely and Specific: Offer feedback promptly, ideally during or shortly after an activity. Be specific about what was done well and areas that need improvement. This enables team members to grasp the context and make necessary adjustments swiftly.
Balanced Approach: Use the “compliment-critique-compliment” method. Start with a positive comment, provide constructive critique, and end with encouragement. This approach softens the critique and emphasizes growth.
Open Dialogue: Foster an environment of open communication. Encourage team members to seek feedback themselves, promoting a two-way street of learning and improvement.
Goal-Oriented Feedback: Tie feedback to the team’s overarching goals. Explain how the suggested improvements contribute to the project’s success, helping team members understand the bigger picture.
Supporting team performance in project management requires a combination of recognition, growth opportunities, and effective feedback. By celebrating achievements, fostering individual growth, and providing timely, constructive feedback, project managers can cultivate a high performing team that thrives on collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. Remember, a well-supported team isn’t just an asset—it’s the engine driving successful projects and contributing to the organization’s overall success!
PMP Trainer | SAFe SPC | Agile Coach
Jordan is from Southern California and moved out to Utah where she attended the University of Utah. While there she studied Business Management and Sociology. Jordan worked in Project Management managing large projects for over 5 years and has extensive agile experience. She held several advanced certifications including the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification, SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC), and PMP Authorized Training Partner certification.
International Project Management Day Online Conference is available to stream now through February 5th, 2024. Sign up here!
Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.