Ways to Keep Your PRINCE2 Team Focussed on the Project’s Overall Aims
It is easy for people to lose focus on what their project is really about. This is an especially relevant risk if you are working on a long project that involves a lot of different elements that all need to be brought together eventually. Will your team forget over time what they were initially asked to do and why it matters?
You might not notice at first that your team members are losing their focus. This may only become obvious after a while, when it may be too late to get them back on track. What tips can you take advantage of to keep this from turning into a major problem?
Show Them the Real-World Impact
One of the problems on some projects is that the business analysts don’t fully understand the real-world impact of what they are doing. They know that they are designing a process or creating a new database or whatever, but do they know why they are doing it? If they don’t then it can be a lot easier for them to drift off-course.
There is a terrific motivational story about three builders chipping away together at giant blocks of stone. The first one is bored and can’t wait to go home, because he thinks all he is doing is chipping away pointlessly at a stupid stone. The second builder is happier because he says he is helping to build a wall. The third man is doing the same job as the others but is highly motivated. “I’m building a cathedral”, he says.
Let your team members see what they are contributing towards and they will almost certainly put more effort into getting it done to a high standard. Most people struggle to get inspired by abstract ideas like “improving the business” or “helping increase revenue”. They want to see what exactly their work is going to provide to help others to work better on a day-to-day basis.
Ask Them to Provide Regular Updates
A common mistake is to just leave people to get on with it. This can be tempting when you are under time pressure and would prefer to not ask everyone in the team for individual updates.
As the project leader, you have probably gone through your PRINCE2 Glasgow and understand the importance of regular project updates and status reports. However, your business analysts might not be in the habit of keeping such close track of how they are doing.
By asking them to send you regular updates you will encourage them to stay on top of the tasks. If they are aware of things like milestones and risks then they are far more likely to get a good feel for the importance of their tasks to the overall piece of work.
Work Together with End Users
Another useful tactic is for your project team to work closely with some of the end users from the business area. This is an approach that is going to be of benefit to everyone involved.
The end users will get a good look at what you are doing and will be able to give you their thoughts on whether it is what they need. This can help to raise confidence levels in the business area that you are going to deliver exactly what they need.
As for sharpening the focus of your team, this can also be achieved by spending time with end users. They will be able to see first-hand what the job is all about and what they should be giving their colleagues in the business area to make their lives easier.