Project Manager’s Getting Things Done Guide: How to organize teamwork


We can debate all day on what the essentials of project management are, but one thing unifies professional, seasoned and certified project managers with freshly baked junior team leads; they all share the same ambition to realize the full potential of their teams.

Besides common project management tasks such as grand planning and dealing with budgets, stakeholders, and reports, you also need to be able to make your long and short term goals comprehensible and rational for the rest of the team. Ideally, you organize just enough. Here are five tactics for project managers to support great teamwork:

[Planning] Let your team plan the details
[Communication] Keep the channels open
[Task management] Prioritize and break down work
[Productivity] Stop starting, start finishing
[Reporting and status updates]  Meet, but keep’em short

Whether you like it or not, it’s your team who are the actual experts. Once your goals are specified and agreed, outsource the day-to-day planning to your team. They know how to get things done.

Transparency is not a nice-to-have – with few exceptions it should be part of your project’s infrastructure. Strive for an open and sharing climate.  Information should be accessible on all devices. You can’t avoid using an shared platform for your plan and project related information, files, and other assets.

So, who should be working on what, and when? This is one of your main jobs as project manager. But prioritizing tasks is hard. Too many things on your to-do list doesn’t help your team get things done. There are many models for prioritizations on both project as well as a personal level. Kanban has been to tool of choice for an increasing number of teams, across industries. As an individual complement, we like Stephen Covey’s famous grid for defining and categorizing urgencies.

Face-to-face meetings have an undisputed place in modern workplaces, even in a highly digitalized world. Gather your team on a daily basis for a quick stand-up meeting. Keep it simple – let every team member talk about what happened yesterday, what is on today’s agenda, and if there are any hurdles that need attention.

Want to learn more about setting up a project, supporting great teamwork and getting things done? Our new free ebook Project Manager’s Guide to Getting things Done collects top tips from our project management experts to help you reach your goals. You can also sign up here for free to get your project up and running in five minutes.

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