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How to Establish a Team Management Mechanism? -Part 2

In the last article, we introduced the first part of how to establish a team management mechanism, which contains the prior two steps of establishing a team management mechanism – the entry point and continuous promoting.

Today, we will continue to discuss the remaining steps of establishing a team management mechanism.

What should we do?

As a team needs to be orderly and transparent, there should be a mechanism to ensure smooth operation. All the things we do for order, transparency, and smoothness can be called project management mechanisms. Everything we do can also be called a project, which is no more than the difference in size. All the projects should serve the business strategic objectives of our organization.

The whole process of promoting the implementation of a project is from planning to the solution, task splitting to implementation, acceptance, and review. In each stage, we have some mechanism processes to guarantee the output. Generally, the project management mechanisms we implement in our team include the following processes: project approval process, kick-off meeting, planning meeting, requirement sorting mechanism, review meeting, iteration meeting, task splitting mechanism, daily standup meeting, retrospective meeting, daily or weekly report mechanism, issue/risk/change management mechanism,  supplier management mechanism, and so forth. All these processes or tools can be found and studied in the Guide of Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK), and all these issues can be classified as the ten knowledge areas of the PMBOK.

As these basic mechanisms and processes running smoothly in the team, many encountered problems and difficulties of the team will be solved. Of course, the team will continue to encounter some new problems, so as to have the space and value of process optimization and improvement. Otherwise, after the mechanism is established, your boss can fire you already……

Someone once joked with me that the ultimate goal of your Project Management Office (PMO) ‘s work is to eliminate all project managers, which I deeply believe in.

Everybody is PMO:

Every job and profession should be respected. That being said, PMO is not to run errands for you, nor to do chores for you. Their job is to help you improve work efficiency and solve problems. Project executioners (project team members) are not puppets, which means they are not to just listen to what you say and then execute what you said unconditionally. We should treat each other with the right attitude and respect, and also we should do the right work with the right attitude.

Some people will habitually advertise the process and system, which means after they design the process and system, they would then inform everyone to follow this. In fact, this kind of practice or behavior will only lead you to a deadlock. As a result,  many things can’t be carried out or be achieved successfully, or even worse, no one will pay attention to you anymore. What is the right practice or the right management behavior then? The answer is that only when you can really “put your feet in your team members’ shoes”, and sincerely think about the team, see things from the team’s perspective, solve the obstacles of the team, and put the team’s interest in the first place, can you succeed. As a result, the real project management mechanism will take root in the team and grow from there.

Project management is not only in need of senior managers but also in need of project managers. Everyone who is part of the project management mechanism should have some knowledge of project management, which is also very helpful for their own growth and career development. Whether it is time management, planning management, or efficiency management, a person who knows how to plan always knows what he wants better than a disordered and unplanned person.

Some Common Tools:

MS Excel

Indeed, MS Excel is very easy to do at a glance, clear structure, unlimited expansion, it seems that there is no defect. However, as a project management tool, the biggest defect of Excel is not that it can’t have dazzling functions like those professional project management tools, but that it is difficult to interact with and needs to “fill in”.

Why is that a problem? Because, the need for “fill in” things, neither guarantees authenticity nor guarantee timeliness. All people who ever filled in an Excel table before will have the same feeling. If a tool can neither guarantee authenticity nor timeliness, then its effectiveness would heavily depend on the initiative and consciousness of the participants, in which case the effectiveness of the tool would decrease.

Social software and chat group.

There are many kinds of social software out there in the application market. One example is Whatsapp.

The chatting group in WhatsApp is simple and straightforward, which makes it popular as soon as it appears. But the shortcomings of the chatting group are also very obvious: no priorities, no process management, no knowledge accumulation, no continuous improvement. In short, the short-term effect is very obvious, and the long-term effect is not even negative, because everyone has been used to and highly dependent on WhatsApp group, and other conventional tools have been put aside for a long time. As a result, there are more and more active and passive chatting groups, and it is not uncommon for a person to have hundreds of groups. How can we see so many groups? Either at the top or “@”. If all things are important without priority, then finally they will all become not important.

Email

There are great differences between Mainland China and other countries’ office processes. Foreign E-mail is the core of the office system and the basis of work, so we attach great importance to E-mail archiving. The Chinese habit is to pay attention to OA (Office Automation), email is just a reference. Although OA is a big deal, there are still some things that need to be operated by email. There are mainly two types: “complaint” and “Memo”. So there’s no one who doesn’t send e-mails in groups because the point-to-point business has already been finished through WhatsApp. However, although e-mail can be used to archive memos, it can not provide background information. Few people have the patience to read the e-mail with more than ten screens, and they can not distinguish the priorities.

 

In summary, this article is the second part of the series “how to establish a team management system”, and introduce the last two steps of establishing a management system. And at the end of the article, we also give some comments on some commonly used communication tools.

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