Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Deciding what success looks like, part of Managing Virtual Teams.
When you go to buy a car, the salesman asks you what you're looking for. If you tell him something sporty and fast, I doubt he will show you a minivan because he's unlikely to be successful in satisfying you. You probably don't want your team to be driving around minivans unless they want to be driving around minivans. With remote employees, it can be hard to figure out what their view of success looks like, but it isn't impossible. Here are some basics to consider. First, establish the right crtiera to understand success.
Here are two suggestions to help you get started. First is the target. This is the measurable part of the criteria. It might include on-time delivery or create a returning customer. It might help you and your team to create success criteria on both a project level and a year-end goals level. This can support your team by creating direction and focus. Next is the how. Whenever possible, this should come from your team members as a proposal to you as the manager.
Let them consider how to craft their work experience so it helps them be successful as people while meeting their business targets. Set the minimum number of standards you need and give your employees latitude as to how to get things done, providing your support along the way. Second, build success criteria as a team. It might sound harder than it really is. Here are a few tips to help. First, make it an event. Arrange a meeting where the only intention is to walk away with at least a draft of your team's success criteria.
By the way, this is a great opportunity to use a virtual conference room like we talked about in a previous video. Do what you can do to make sure all of your team attends. Second, assume there is always more your employees have to share. As you run your success criteria meeting, use the question, "What else?" This can help you encourage more participation and it is likely that if your team is chiming in to create criteria they will take ownership of it.
Lastly, have a take two. Hold a second meeting to finalize everything and start the conversation about implementing the shiny new success criteria. This gives you a chance to reflect and ensure all of your remote team members were heard in the original meeting. Again, make sure your whole team can attend this meeting. Third and finally, here are a few tips to help you use your newly created criteria. First, use visuals.
Put your criteria somewhere in your office and ask that your employees do the same. If you see it daily, you are probably more likely to reference it. Also, having it posted conveniently, make the criteria readily available for use at the start of each new project or initiative. Second, bring it alive. Make the criteria a living document, modifying it whenever necessary. The criteria can literally grow with your team.
This makes it relevant and takes some of the burden of setting and communicating expectations off of you. Lastly, review results. After each project is completed, schedule a meeting and evaluate results against your success criteria. The key here is to make it a consistent part of your procedures. When your team defines what success looks like, it is more likely a sense of ownership will develop as well and when you've got a team that owns the success of what it produces, your job as a manager can get a bit easier.
Discover how to build rapport, set mutual expectations, communicate, connect, overcome conflict, get work done, and grow the team. Also included is a look at the top five challenges managers face in leading remote teams and helpful solutions that will get your team on track.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.