Aligning Your Team for Delivery: A Project Management Obstacle
Client Delivery is one of the most important parts of a project, but it has a major weakness: Alignment. During a project, there are many knowledgeable professionals working on one goal, and that can lead to a competition of ideas. For any Project Coordinator or Manager on a project, it is their responsibility to bring the team together and put everyone’s thoughts together to complete a strategic goal and hand it off to the client.
In a Disaster Recovery Project, for example, a major deliverable is a Business Continuity policy. Within a Disaster Recovery project, a recovery plan is a comprehensive program that covers the widest possible scenario, addressing risks such as lack of connectivity, destruction of hardware, data corruption, and cyber-attacks. A Business Continuity policy defines, concretely, how the organization will behave when a disaster occurs and includes staffing, metrics, and standard requirements. Internal staffing in a Business Continuity policy should outline the roles and responsibilities of department heads, corporate management liaisons, and members of the Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery Team. This document has a very clear framework in structure but as for what is populated in each section, that can vary based on what is deemed as the most important aspects of the Recovery plan. From my experience, aligning everyone on what should be on that document proved a challenge but there were very clear steps I took to ensure everyone within the team came to a consensus for the next Project Delivery steps:
How I overcame this hurdle:
• Do Your Own Research – The first step should be to do your own research on the Deliverable. Find examples from respected and trusted resources to see what a completed product would look like. In this case, reviewing policies released by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) framework provided a strong understanding of what a Business Continuity policy should include.
• Gather Individual Insights – After reviewing a completed example of your deliverable, a great recommendation on the second step is to get feedback from each relevant team member on what they believe is worth adding to this deliverable. For my Business Continuity policy, I met with individuals in the team with 2 years or more of Cyber Security and Disaster Recovery experience to gauge what they felt were the best details to add to the final document.
• Bring Your Team Together – Once you have met with each member of your team and you have done a considerable amount of research to understand your deliverable, the final and most important step is: Align your team. The best way to do this is to have a meeting where ideas and understandings can be bounced off one another to bring about a conclusion. For my Project, during this meeting, I presented my draft policy based on my research and the considerable amount of feedback I received, and I worked with my team to pick the most necessary parts of the policy. The policy was condensed from 14 to 7 pages.
Other Organizations may skip these very important aligning steps and push a deliverable to be handed off to a client prematurely. This can lead to confusion and dissatisfactory feedback from a client.
Here at Collective Insights, we pride ourselves on valuing every team member’s perspective. It’s part of our culture of pushing our whole-team approach in what we do. We come together to provide your team with an outstanding deliverable you can use now and into the future.