What is the best way to keep everybody on the same page?

Hi,

While working with a co-located and remote team, a major concern is to keep everyone on the same page. Everybody does well individually, but, without effective coordination and communication among team members, a lot many things go unnoticed and at times the project suffers drastically. 

Can you please suggest me how to keep everybody involved in a project, well informed? 

13 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Alice.

1. Have a strong leader - everyone has to know and accept that they are the leader, so they lead - even if the others do not like it.

2. Everyone has a defined role, with responsibilities. They are kept to these.

3. Everyone knows what the target is, and what the dates for reaching responsibilities are.

4. Have a strong leader - who is not afraid to lead.

5. Weekly group meetings, as a minimum. Do not talk about what everyone is doing - they should know that, from the plan. Talk about any problems - and come up with agreed solutions.

6. Appoint, or be a strong leader.

7. Have 1:1 contact with each team member, as well as the weekly meetings. Get to know your team, even when they are remote.

8. Strong leadership is essential.

Alice Dane

Hi Bruce,

Great points you've mentioned here. Some of which I had never focused on. Though being at a superior level, I try to keep as much coordination and communication with the team, but there still arise issues where I feel like the project has gone out of control. Apart from what I've already been doing, if I practice the tips mentioned by you, I am sure I would be able to curb this issue completely. 

Bruce Graham

Glad to have helped. Once these things get out of control it can be like herding kittens, so best to ensure you everything from Day 1. Teams look for leadership, and whilst "being collegiate and consultative" is often the easiest thing to do, it's more effective to be strong, provide direction, and then get the team to VALIDATE your leadership, rather than trying to lead by committee.

Ashley Chiasson

Alice - I definitely agree with Bruce; weekly meetings may seem like overkill, but they're not. They keep your team on the same page, within the same focus, and prevent lengthy revision cycles down the line. I've even worked on more complex projects that have had very brief daily scrums, and this worked very well at keeping everyone in the loop and on point. 

In short, my advice is to: communicate, communicate, communicate!

Joshua Roberts

I would also be tempted to take advantage of some of the great software out there for collaborative working - especially if you're all in remote locations.

Popplet

Is one of those or something like StormBoard (Personal Favourite)

Both of these can help assist keep ideas on the same page, just ensure that you can schedule in some time to allow people to post there.

Alice Dane

Ashley- So true. Though times have changed, but the importance of some conventional methods still remain the same. And holding meetings with the team is one of that. Without making sure that each team member knows where the team is heading towards, proper work management cannot be brought at the workplace. Bold your last point: COMMUNICATE,COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

Nick n/a

Alice Dane said:

Hi,

While working with a co-located and remote team, a major concern is to keep everyone on the same page. Everybody does well individually, but, without effective coordination and communication among team members, a lot many things go unnoticed and at times the project suffers drastically. 

Can you please suggest me how to keep everybody involved in a project, well informed? 


A question Alice. Are the members of the remote team working for your company as employees or subcontractors?

john faulkes

I'd add some extra bits to the project leadership advice:

1. Be very strong at the start, when expectations are being worked out, then back off a bit when there is evidence that poeple know what they are doing. Weak leadership we know is a recipe for chaos, but also micro-management is a recipe for de-motivation.

2. Remember, people are not properly motivated by how you treat them, but by how you use them (doesn't mean you can treat them badly, by the way). People like it when you arrange meetings only when then is something really significant to do - when there is a big roadblock, something important breaks, or perhaps the client really changes the requirement - and you ask everyone to participate in creating a solution.

In my experience, employees and sub-contractors' motivation is just the same.

John.a.