In the NBA, coaches give their team guidance and strategy leading up to each game and make adjustments in timeouts during the games. Then, the team members deliver their autonomous and specialized expertise, as they work together to ensure the win – all against a ticking clock.
As a project manager, emulate the NBA coach model and tap into the knowledge-rich resource of your team: a team of equals. Outline the project requirements to them. Let them be in charge of their commitments. They should know what it takes, and the timeline required to achieve goals. Empower them to succeed or fail without over-directing them. Provide them support and direction. Let them give you guidance on what needs to be done. By valuing their input, team members feel more involved and respected, which invests them in winning the game.
Easier said than done, right? The challenge is found in building a team culture where the team is invested in each other and is respected by the organization.
Team members often have the information needed to execute on their objectives and understand risk. Empower your team by capitalizing on your team’s existing expertise and allow individuals to contribute.
- Seek input from your team members when planning, before executing
- Allow team members to articulate and define what needs to be done
- Have the team estimate how long task components will take to complete
- Empower them to take accountability; they will be more vested in project success