Is energy fading in your project?

By David Close

18 Jun 2014

As projects get underway there's high energy across the company - management teams promoting the vision on roadshows, staff interacting on the changes and the project team ramping up. However, this "Can Do" energy can begin to fade as the project jostles for focus amongst company and team discussions.

Here are some ideas to keep project energy and momentum alive.

1. Promote the project – visually and regularly

Promote the progress and successes of the project regularly and visually across the company. A monthly newsletter that includes project highlights keeps discussions alive. Be sure management teams are engaged and armed with material to promote the project at forums. Look for opportunities to involve the workforce in Ideas Forums over extended periods to generate interest and broader discussions.

Within the project team area display the visuals of progress around the walls and in emails. Include Information Centre Walls with posters, timelines, burn down charts as as well competition between teams. Relevant and engaging visuals lead to building energy and team focus.

2. Regular Team Stand ups

The traditional weekly team meeting can suffer from too long between discussions and a predictable format. When you see momentum is waning, then try re-invigorating the format.

Change the environment with your creativity and personal side. Surprise the team with muffins during the meeting, share a short inspiring motivational video and engage the team on their thoughts and experiences.

Change the focus from weekly meetings to Agile Team Stand-ups every few days. Capture team progress on a wall and each person presents in a few minutes their area covering “Past Actions, Next Actions, Blockages”. Longer discussion points are taken offline for small teams to develop and update the group at the next stand-up.

As a 5d colleague noted, “Agile is about getting everyone in the team to understand they are leaders in their own right – My journey as an Agile Leader.

3. Engage the team on Sticky Issues

Create an environment where everyone can contribute. Leaders need to engage the team authentically on challenges when they suspect things aren’t quite right. Momentum is not just to “cheer” the team on progress and stay focused. Get in touch with the emotional state of the team … what is the real pulse of the challenges on people’s minds and provide an environment to discuss. It’s when the team and people feel heard and take part in solutions that momentum is gained.

4. Celebrate Success

Build in regular times to celebrate success with teams and stakeholders. Small events such as Fortnightly Morning Teas (with popular hot savouries) and Quarterly Milestone Lunches enable teams to be connected socially, exchange on project direction and achievements in other teams. Include updates from Leads on team wins and include Stakeholders sharing their department’s perspective. Simple rewards generate excitement and encouragement across the teams. Keep it simple and effective.

Celebrating success is a real motivator to team energy. Momentum builds through small wins to reach the big achievements. Successful leaders encourage and celebrate those small wins into big initiatives.

In summary, as a Leader you play a key part to maintaining momentum. Lead by example, present with confidence, maintain persistence, encourage others and instil methods that build High Performing Teams will lead to maintaining project energy.

More by David Close

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