Friday, February 27, 2009

Post-it Brainstorming brings team building UP!

As a project manager, how can you influence people motivation in your team? How would a manager possibly create something which is not only fun for her/him but also for the team spirit. Hey! Do you a have a new project arising soon?

If yes, try the following:
* Document the objective from stakeholders.
* Provide the necessary information to the newly resources assigned to this project.
* Invite everyone to be involved in a brainstorming session (e.g the Work Breakdown Structure, WBS) where you will listen to everyone's view and get everybody involved from the very beginning. Do not forget, lack of involvement at this stage may mean lack of commitment later. Also, chances are that your team resources do not know each other. Therefore, all team members must still go through stages of development. And as a project manager you must monitor, support and manage the stages of the team development. It is important that every member team establishes an identity within the project and finds her/his place in the group.

Therefore, the post-it brainstorming is a team building activity where you may get ideas from everybody and get everybody to know each other. Those ideas may be writing on post-it notes and then sticked them on a wall by the resources. Provide post-it block with different color to the members. This will already allow you to categorize the ideas by group. Let's assume that grey is for "Marketing" team group, green for "Engineering" team group, etc, etc... The goal will be to get a large number of ideas for the project by group. As a "director of the orchestra" you will lead the interaction between the team members and provide a discussion as a baseline for the meeting. Why do they think that this idea is great? And you will notice at the end of this "Post-it brainstorming" activity you should see a boost in team's commitment. At the same time everybody enjoyed the team work and "THE WORK".

Do not forget unhappy workers are unproductive... Also, don't be naive, resources work under the influence of events that are often beyond of your control. You should mitigate this risk (Refer to Maslow's pyramid).

Lastly, as a conclusion, I will never stress enough that a key success for the project is to have motivated and engaged people involved in the project in order to maximize the productivity and effort.