Project Management: To Team Or Not To Team
I’d like to start with a project management topic that I am excited about.
The topic has to do with figuring out what task within a given project should be done individually and which by a team or group of people. Personally, I feel there is no clear enough understanding among managers on this subject.
I was an MBA student. I got on a phone call with other students and a professor to discuss our final project presentation. Professor walked us through his comments: methodically one by one, slide by slide.
It took ap. an hour and 30 minutes.
After that, students’ intention was to go over professor’s comments one by one and incorporate changes to the presentation while on the call.
I was like, “guys, do we need 4 people on the call to incorporate professions comments after 4 of us already heard and agreed on what they are? Would that make more sense if one of us incorporates changes and one other person reviews them?“
I personally felt that the latter would be more efficient.
Doing things in a group gives more brain power and provides more diverse views. It takes more time to come to a conclusion that all would agree with, plus total time spent is higher as there are more individuals spending their time.
I asked myself which tasks are team’s and which should be individual ones. My thinking is that most of actual execution is individual work. Areas that require consensus can be team’s tasks. For example, planning and completion on a given project are likely to be team tasks whereas most of what happens in between is done individually.
When we do things individually, we can still consult with the team, however, the actual doing is still individual. I think too often people like doing things as a group because they cannot or do not want to do things individually. This may lead to massive loss of time.
All in all, I think for a given project it’s important to understand what task is individual and which requires team effort. I think it’s also important to execute according to this understanding.