Team performance

By Procelite Team, April 12, 2018

Usually performance management problems are less typical for small teams or organisations (e.g. start-ups). Large organisations with many different departments and levels of hierarchy experience these kinds of issues much more. Indeed, when you manage just several people and ideally all of them are collocated in the same room - it’s much more probable that you, as a team leader, know exactly who is working on what task, what problems your colleagues experience and in case something is unclear anyone can just come over to the right person and ask.

This ideal communication and collaboration set up is one of the major reasons why start-up companies (that are essentially just a team of motivated individuals) can outperform much larger organisations in speed of adopting new ideas, technology and reacting to the rapidly changing market environment.

However, this is also the reason why very often after initial success, a team or a small company fail after they start to grow due to the increased level of complexity. The situation can be even more critical if the team/company is split geographically.

In this article we want to discuss how to improve team performance and support sustainable growth and scalability - make things moving faster and achieve results as planned.

Here is a list of the most frequent symptoms of the team inefficiencies:

  • Team management/coordination becomes challenging. It takes substantial effort for the team leader to know what each team member is up to, what the progress is, bottle necks and/or dependencies. It’s worth mentioning that quite often, in order to resolve this -a dedicated role is created (similar to Project Manager Office) that on the regular basis collates updates on behalf of the manager. However, this is just a way to mask the problem because that convenience comes at a price of a lot of effort spent on reporting.
  • Communication in the team becomes less effective – it starts taking much longer to answer or address peer requests that eventually leads to a negative impact on overall team performance and results.
  • Team Workload is not transparent - some colleagues are having unreasonably overwhelming workloads, whereas some of the colleagues are consistently underutilised.
  • There are problems with performance appraisal - some of the most vocal colleagues get a lot of credit for not really delivering much, whereas some of the very hardworking members of staff are not fairly recognised. That impacts morale and eventually hits hard on an attrition rate.
  • Knowledge management is suboptimal – when business processes become more complex, it’s critical to have proper task and process documentation in place to mitigate operational risk and avoid key-person dependencies.

Procelite was designed with team management in mind also it has built-in Task, Business Process and Project Management capabilities. Let’s discuss how the above challenges can be effectively addressed with Procelite:

  • Team management/coordination. Procelite organises all business communication and interaction in the form of tasks/requests and associated comments/logs. Then using the smart engine, Procelite visualises all business processes (sequences of tasks with all their dependencies). As a result, a team leader/manager has all progress updates and task summaries in real-time. That saves an enormous amount of effort (usually spent on reporting) and the up-to-date management information is always at hand with no extra effort. That shifts a reactive management approach (playing catch up with fixing issues) to a proactive management that focuses on addressing risks before they become issues.
  • Ineffective inter/intra teams communication and Collaboration:
    Having task and business processes at the core of its approach, Procelite aligns all business communications to them (i.e. when you need to work on a particular task you will have all relevant information immediately available including change and audit logs). In addition, Procelite provides extreme clarity on when the task/request came, who is responsible, if it addressed in the timely manner and what dependencies this task has or impacts on. Ignoring or delaying requests is not an option with Procelite, that helps to foster a supportive environment in the team/company- right KPIs drive right behaviour.
  • Workload and performance appraisal. Thanks to the integrated task management, Procelite makes workload information available to the team leads and to the peers (with all sensitive information masked) on demand that is instrumental for managing workload on the fly. However, this is not only important for effective time management but also for team morale. This will ensure fair treatment of each of the team members by recognising the effort he or she contributes. Fair recognition of the wok quality is similarly important for performance appraisal and training plans. Continuous feedback is a standard in Procelite for every task or request. As a result, a team lead has an objective performance achievement view on every colleague at any point of time.
  • Knowledge management. Procelite ensures that all the task and business process information is captured and regularly updated. This is being achieved through embedded KPIs and easy real time views that highlight all the documentation that exists/doesn’t exist for a particular task or a process. This will ensure that key person dependency risk is mitigated and effective knowledge management is maintained.