improve team cohesion

Ways to improve team cohesion

Have you considered ways to improve team cohesion? As a Project Manager it is all too easy to get caught up in the day to day of running your project.  There are a million and one things that need to be done, you’ve got pressure being put on you from your Senior Executive to deliver, and things may not always be going as well as you would like. Working on assisting the team to work better together is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

Stop!  Sit back a minute and consider how important it is to have a cohesive team. Consider for a moment, the importance to your desired outcome on the other members of your project team.  The key word here is team because your project can’t be successfully delivered without them, the other people you are working with.

I am going to use an analogy here.  Imagine the end result of your project as a successfully completed jigsaw puzzle; you start out with the border (your scope, budget, time frames etc), and each piece of your puzzle belongs to a team member of your project team. it is their job to deliver what is needed to get that piece in place in the right way, at the right time in order to complete the picture.  Imagine if you will, how important it is then that ensuring those puzzle pieces (a) fit together in the correct way, and (b) don’t go missing is.

What do I mean, by ‘don’t go missing’.. well, if you set one of your project team members off-side and they no longer feel inclined to work with you, then they are going to feel to you as though they have ‘gone missing’.

So, what if you were to look on each and everyone of those ‘puzzle pieces’ or team members as very important and special, to the extent that you needed to treat each one with respect and as being valuable, in order to get them to ‘fit’ within your bigger picture, your puzzle?  How do you think this might change the outcome of your project delivery.

I am not saying you need to treat any team members differently or as special, simply that you give them all the respect and trust that they would want in order to feel that they hold an important place in the total scheme of this ‘puzzle’ that you are putting together.

You might like to ask questions of those ‘pieces’ that don’t seem to be fitting as well as others in order to understand how you could change that.  Is there something that you are doing, or not doing that would help that team (piece) work better in the over all scheme of things, in order to deliver what you required.

Think about this analogy the next time you are working on a project.

Step outside your comfort zone and try it.. Maybe you might find the outcome is far better than you ever imagined.


Written by Karen Munro