I have wrote before about NEVER to work alone. In simple terms, when you work alone, you are operating at the lowest leverage point of your life because you can only get returns form ONLY your time investment. The simple solution, of course, would be to work with teams on all your projects – be it external or internal or a combination (which will be the most common arrangement.)
It is commonly said that you should have superstars in all the key positions – right people at the right places and we are done. It is a concept that is something that is hard to argue against. Plus, the fact that people do change and past success is not necessarily an indicator of future results. [Side note: this must be the first paragraph where I have so many cliches combined – it should be a record-breaking event for me 🙂 ]
While we are grappling with the above, some of the small but important things get forgotten until there is a breakdown. One such thing is the synchrony amongst your team members – once again both internal and external team members. You are always in the middle of one or more projects. Even if you don’t have the title of a a manager, you can be guaranteed
that you are managing multiple projects at any point in time – both in your life and at your work. As you know, the success of your projects depends on more factors than your hard work, skills and commitment. There are always more players involved. The ability for all these team members to synchronize their actions is extremely important.
Imagine that your projects are like rowing boats of different sizes (based on the project sizes, of course) and you have different team members on each boat (some people may be on multiple boats) and your job as a project manager is to get all these boats to the other side. It is very easy to see that even the team that is supposed to have the skills and strengths (right people on the right seats) will have a hard time if there is no synchrony in the team.
Often synchronization is taken for granted. It is almost like there is no discussion required as people OUGHT to know this basic stuff. That is the first problem. Next, remember that everyone on those boats have multiple projects that is going on in their lives and they are grappling with synchronization issues of their own. Your project MAY be the most important project (for you and them) but it is still ONE of the many projects going on and has to compete for attention from all the team members.
What can you do? There is no life changing direction shift required. Give synchrony a bit more attention than what you have already given. A few additional minutes of planning and discussion will go a long way. Just being aware of the syncronization issues will cause you to look at the right places when there is a synchronization breakdown.