With the ‘new normal’ being well and truly here and the ‘working whilst at home’ honeymoon period is also well and truly over! How can you as a project/programme leader or sponsor keep your teams engaged and working effectively to deliver the benefits you set out to achieve?
Here is the Nine Feet Tall short guide of hot hacks to get you ahead and keep your team focused amidst all the distractions of the global pandemic.
1. Focus, Rest, Repeat
Your project teams’ brains are in ‘survival mode’ and working whilst at home adds further complications and challenges. Keeping concentration and focus is hard so encourage re-focus and energising through intense bursts of time on key activities. Prioritise, focus and spend 45 mins maximum on these tasks – including meetings, put a cap on these of no more then 45 minutes. Then take a break for 15 minutes, get away from your work area so you can return and repeat! Greater intensity on the tasks that are critical to get ahead, drive projects and change will get the best return. And your team don’t feel guilty, start to lose focus or getting distracted. Sponsor this change and an efficient delivery away from the distractions of multi-tasking and loss of concentration that goes with this.
2. Prioritise and Plan
Breaking tasks down is key to enable this new focus. Nothing new but this hack works. Take the time to plan at the end of your day before the next and break down goals into manageable chunks. As with 1/ these should be achievable with 45 minutes of focused effort. If the work isn’t important or engaging, then work with your team to challenge and ensure it is critical for the project and achievable. Communicate well on delivery and status of work and check in regularly.
3. Check In – Not Up
The last hack is just this – check in not up. Anxiety and uncertainty about so many things are sky high during the pandemic. Support your project teams through taking the time to check in with them. Put the project to one side and take the time to really find out how they are doing and how you can help. Genuinely look after your team this way and with integrity and their engagement levels will rise and your project will prosper during the pandemic!
Good luck with your projects during the pandemic and if you’d like to get a fresh view from a project expert then do get in touch with Nine Feet Tall at firstname.lastname@example.org