Add to that a very committed and accountable project team and the likelihood can increase exponentially. Team members who understand the project are more committed to making the project successful. To understand is to make sense of what is required of you. It involves understanding how what you do fits into the whole. Understanding involves taking in information and knowledge so that it becomes your own.
When people on a team understand the project – why it’s being done, what they are supposed to do, how what they do affects others and fits into the whole picture – they are more effective as individuals and more effective as a team. They are also more motivated. Through understanding, they engage not only the mind but also the heart. How do you gain this understanding among team members?
One easy, nearly sure way is to get them involved in the project planning process as much as possible. If key members of your team are assigned to the project early enough, then they can assist with drafting the project schedule. They can help put together the project kickoff presentation materials. They can help define tasks.
Most importantly, they take very early ownership in the outcomes of the project through early planning involvement. Conversely, if team members only understand their own piece of the project, they do what is best for them. They don’t necessarily do what is best for the project as a whole. This can create inadvertent problems for other team members.
Besides what has been discussed above, several factors help breed this commitment. Here, I’ll focus on the first of three of these factors: