How to Get Projects Done with Temporary Teams
So, you’ve been put in charge of a temporary team to get a massive project done at work. As you start to sift through the data and expected outcomes, you begin to break into a cold sweat. How are you going to accomplish all this work, in budget, with people who have never worked together before.
Although it seems impossible, it can be done with a few strategic practices and a few tools to keep everything on track.
- Have a Welcome Meeting
Sure, you could send everyone an outline or report outlining exactly what needs to be done and hope they read it. But let’s be honest, when was the last time you read a project document in its entirety? Most people will skim the document, and even those that read it aren’t guaranteed to grasp the most important features.
Have a meeting in person or via an online platform is important because it ensures everyone hears the same message and has an opportunity to ask questions. This allows them to understand not just the big picture, but their contributing role in hitting the final mark. Be sure to cover expected outcomes and introduce each team member. Outline what every individual is responsible to work on independently and also what/who they will need to collaborate with. This is a great way to build camaraderie early on and promote a team mentality.
Tools you can use for virtual meetings:
- Join Me
- Create Milestones
When it comes to projects, it’s easy to lose our ability to see the forest through the trees. In fact, it’s all too common to have some contributors gets bogged down by details, while others procrastinate. This of course, inevitably leads to chaos just before deadlines. In order to help keep everyone on task, break down the end goal into smaller milestones and set completion dates. This allows individual members of the team to create their own tasks to meet mini deadlines and ensures that not one person is holding progress back.
Once you’ve made a master calendar be sure to share it with the entire team. You can post the information on any number of online calendars that way any changes that need to be made can be made in real time and across the board. The nice thing about online calendars is that it also allows for task assignment and collaboration, which helps circumvent the issue of someone dropping the ball or forgetting about an element another collaborator needs to move forward.
Tools you can use for shared calendars:
- Google calendar
- Outlook Calendar
- Systemize Documentation
If you’ve ever been part of a team project before, you know what a nightmare document tracking can be. Trying to determine which document is the latest version often sounds a lot like Abbot and Costello’s “who’s on first”. Miscommunication is almost inevitable and a lot of valuable time is usually lost to duplicate work and endless scrolling through your email trash bin.
The best routine for avoiding this is to create a shared drive document center and create the filing system (i.e. name the folders) before you give everyone access. Then, at the welcome meeting, briefly go over where things are to be filed and how they are to be named. Then, have a pdf document outlining the same procedures saved to the share drive so anyone who needs a refresher can review before saving their document. The great thing about share drives is that most have change tracking features and once a document is saved, it updates in real time so everyone has the most current information instantly.
Tools for Document Systemization
- Google Docs
While this is not the only key elements to accomplish how to get projects done with temporary teams it does outline the key elements to consider prior to launching your project. Preparation is always the key to success!
More Information from our blog on hiring for temporary employers Here!