Motivation: How to Increase Project Team Performance
Abdullah Alzowayed & Abdulrahman Alarfaj Mohammed Alshaaban
The article “Motivation: How to Increase Project Team Performance” (2007), by Tanya M. Peterson of Kohl’s Corporation. The article discusses how a project manager can create and maintain a motivational environment to better improve their team’s performance. This year SeeMoji is implementing teams of four artists. Information in this article is beneficial for our artists during the transition.
Creating a Powerful Team
Peterson stated that “an empowered team environment can assist in fostering greater motivation within the project team, department, and organization.” (p. 6)
Four Components of Empowerment (p. 6):
• Team member authority
• Capable resources
• Accurate information
• Accountability for completed work
It is important that when a team is presented with a project that the process needed and expected outcome are stated. Peterson recommends implementing the P-CMM (People Capability Maturity Model) at any company. It defines five levels of high-performing team maturity which is shown in detail on Appendix B of the article. Implementing this allows for consistency among different projects. (p. 6)
“Even with all the needed planning, well-defined processes and clear, known expectations, employee(or team) performance problems may still occur.”
To handle issues within a team there is a three step process:
1. Identify the issue
2. Learn and teach how to prevent issue from happening again
3. Monitor process again in the future to find improvements
Variables Needed for a Functioning Team
According to Peterson “there is a variety of components that will help foster a positive team culture resulting in high Team Performance and team success.” Making sure these components are implemented will overcome any obstacles with creating a successful team. (p. 7)
The eight variables a company should follow are (p. 7):
• Creating a Team Charter- list out all team members and their defined roles in a formal document. “.. allows the project team to understand the common goals, objectives, and division of responsibilities.” There is also a template to use in Appendix C on page nine of the article.
• Define Team Processes- have a document containing company wide step by step processes that will/can be used by the teams to complete projects and tasks. Make sure these documents are readily available to all employees so they can be referred back to.
• Environment- “Personalize motivational strategies according to individual needs, desires, and goals.”
Variables Needed for a Functioning Team
• Rewards- “personalize rewards according to individual motivators and accomplishments achieved while celebrating team success.”
• Encourage Trust, Teamwork, and Open Communication- when working as a team, allow everyone to give their input, respect each other, learn to handle constructive criticism, and make sure to participate.
• Recognize Team Member Strengths- “assign project tasks and roles according to individual strengths, knowledge, motivation, and development strategies.”
• Develop a Mature Team- means that after everything else is accomplished, a team can focus on “process improvements to streamline, expand, and/or simplify tasks, responsibilities and processes.” A great benefit of teamwork!
• Promote Project Success- “continue to identify successes the team has accomplished (no matter the size). Be consistent with this team recognition to help the team feel accomplished and experience achievement no matter what stage of project life cycle development”.
The article summarized above is directed towards project managers and how they can improve their team environment. However, I think there are some great ways we can implement some of the ideas here at SeeMoji to promote teamwork with our artists.
1. First and foremost, I think it would be a great idea to have a project manager for each team at the company. Peterson goes into great depth the many tasks of a project manager, and how essential they are for a positive team environment. (p. 1) Establishing a project manager for each team would better guarantee that all eight variables above are being implemented. Also, they will get to know each team member on a more personal level, and be able to steer projects in the right direction based on each members individual talent.
2. We need to introduce teamwork in a positive way to the artists so that they can understand how it needs to work at SeeMoji, and how beneficial it will be in the long run. The article mentions implementing team meetings, team building and
Team celebration activities. (p. 7) A staff wide meeting would be the first step so that we can explain how teams will be handled at the company. Then I think it would be a fun idea to do some team building exercises, and activities. This will allow the artists to get to know each other better. Also, artists and upper management can assess who works well with who. Then the most cohesive and efficient teams can be established. Plus, team activities are enjoyable and will allow the artists to see that working with others does not have to be a negative experience.