How effective are your project teams?

Steven Covey (of 7 Habits fame) appeared in a video which asks a number of tough questions. Among them:

  1. How effective are your (project) teams?
  2. Are your (project) objectives clear?
  3. Is the company strategy clear?

The bracketed words are mine.

Covey points to a survey by Harris Poll on goal setting and involvement which identified:

  • as few as 15% could identify the most important or top priority goals
  • only 19% of people polled felt passionately about the top goals of the organisation – there was little ownership, no emotional attachment, no involvement
  • 49% of people’s time was spent on most important goals with the rest of time spent urgent but less important tasks (Covey writes extensively about this in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. See also )
  • 51% of those polled do not understand what they need to do to achieve the business goals of the organisation. They understand them, but do not know how to achieve them. Covey calls this the execution gap.

So what has this to do with you, the project manager?

  1. how do you ensure that someone in the organisation, a person who will contribute to the project, sees the relevance of the project and puts time, energy and effort into the project?
  2. how do you as a project manager motivate and get people to embrace the objectives of the project? How do you get people passionate about the project and its objectives?
  3. how do you ensure that project team members really focus on what matters rather than being distracted by business as usual?
  4. Is there an execution gap in your projects?

There are of course more questions to ask; many more. The answers will all be different depending on the project, the project team, the culture of the company or department.

So, back to the question; how effective are your project teams?

Watch the video below.

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