5R’s to Improve Your Team Productivity

Courtesy of Sheela Mohan at  Freedigitalphotos.net
Courtesy of Sheela Mohan at Freedigitalphotos.net

Once in a while there are words that come to mind in the right order that really make sense. This happened this week while listening to a Sunday Morning Sermon.  The words really began to gain some momentum this morning the more I thought on them.  So often we seek new answers to old problems when in reality all we needed to do was to stop, listen and renew, hence the words for today: Remember Renew, Receive, Reinforce and Rejoice.

Remember:  Reflect on the times your team was the most effective in the past.  What were the circumstances of that success and who was providing support and mentoring during that time? So often we forget our past successes when tackling any new project but it is a key to providing positive reinforcement. If you don’t have notes or triggers to remember the details then ask your team members what their recollections were.  Digest the details and see how they can be applied in the new project you are tackling today.  Glean the best of the processes and incorporate them with any new ideas you have for the growth of the team.

Renew:  Once you have been through the remembrance cycle, you should have some ideas that need to meld together.  Take time to think, discuss and merge the ideas so they have buy-in from the users and those providing the services. Renew implies rest and restoration, so the team really needs to have some time to breath and grasp the concepts that are being presented.  Do they truly understand the expectations and feel comfortable they can deliver at the appropriate time?  Have you asked all the stakeholders for their input so there are no hidden expectations?

Receive: This step implies that you are open to really receive the ideas of other stakeholders and incorporate the expectations or negotiate a common ground.  If you are perceived as being closed minded and inflexible in terms of receiving other input then you will be faced with many hidden expectations that could jeopardize your success. This is a simple step but often the most difficult to complete because there may be preconceived roadblocks and limitations that we ignore or dismiss because we are afraid to deal with them or choose not to deal with them.

Reinforce: Once you have received the input and digested the information from remembering and renewing, it is time to take a cohesive plan, complete with a solid risk mitigation and user agreement, to the point of reinforcing it with the sponsors, the delivery team and users.  Ideally, everyone is familiar with the details.  There should be no question in terms of process, definition of success or testing that have eluded the teams.

Rejoice: Finally, it is critical to celebrate when you have successes.  Make the celebration complete with the requisite recognition for anyone who performed over and above the average.  However, it is very important that everyone share in any success because all had a role in the completion.  Capture what worked and what didn’t so when the next cycle comes to the schedule you can speed up the process without missing any valuable information.

This is a simple process that can provide an achievable path to projects in IT and other work environments that utilizes a common sense approach.  I use these concepts in advising people going through change and project management workshops.  If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me via my web site at http://www.rwme.com, email at ron@rwme.com or by phone at 630-935-3326.