Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video The action-oriented work style, part of Project Management Foundations: Teams.
The purpose of any project is to produce deliverables that will improve or expand the capabilities of the organization. Who can you turn to when these deliverables need to be designed, built and adjusted to suit your customer? The action-oriented team members are your ticket to success in delivery of the products of your project. Let's discuss a few characteristics of these action-minded team members as well as a few things you can do to help them do their best.
First and foremost, these action-oriented team members help you ensure that the team produces your project deliverables. Next, they're typically happy to lead the way in the production of project outcomes. True to their nickname "the doers", action-oriented team members will use language such as "when we do this" and they will express an enthusiasm around getting to build, produce or demonstrate the products of your project.
Another characteristic is that your action-minded team members will often start the project wanting to know what is going to get delivered and how they fit into the equation of producing outcomes. Once they feel they have enough information to build the product of your project, their focus will shift to understanding exactly when they can start building. Action-oriented team members will happily serve as the backbone of your project team if you deploy them in the right way at the start of your project.
They're usually quite interested in gathering requirements as they need to know what your clients wants so they can move along to create the needed product or service. Next, it's important that you help your action-minded team members tie their efforts to the end products of your project. Asking your action-oriented team members to produce project management artifacts such as; your project schedule will work only as long as they can tie those artifacts to the end products of the project.
Otherwise, they may struggle to produce something at the quality you expect. During the Build stage of the project, it's important that you give your action-minded team members the information and tools they need as well as the space to complete their work. The Build stage is the part of the project action members enjoy the most. If you manage them with a healthy balance of information and autonomy, they will be very productive.
Lastly, your action team members are typically keenly interested in the testing and installation stage of the project and are ready to fix or improve product deliverables as long as they understand the improvements or corrections being requested. Also, when there is an opportunity to build the prototype, or sample, the action-oriented team member is typically well-suited for this work. So, while your action-oriented team members are quite valuable, there are a few things I want you to keep in mind as you seek to deploy these team members.
First, your action-oriented team members can become so focused on the building of product that they lose focus on communicating with stakeholders. For example, if you were to ask them to help you with the stakeholder communication plan, it's probably not the best or most effective use of their time unless it's core to the building of products for your project. The second characteristic to keep in mind is that action team members can gather requirements, but they may check out if they feel the requirements being collected are too detailed.
Third, when your team member over-stresses their action orientation, they can become impatient with administrative tasks such as recording their time and updating status reports. In its most troubling form, you might see the over-anxious team member start to build products for the project without understanding the client's needs or proper planning with other team members. In this case, it's important for you to recognize this impatience and acknowledge their desire to build product.
However, I want you to emphasize that anxiety to build should not be superceded by the need to work together as a team. Try to come to an agreement around the information needed and ensure your action-oriented team member builds the right product in partnership with their peers. Producing product deliverables is fundamental to a successful project. Your action-oriented team members are at the core of this effort. Keeping them focused and managing them effectively will help you successfully deliver your project.
Along the way, discover how to negotiate for key resources, appreciate and maximize individual working styles, use emotional intelligence to add a personal approach to your management style, and resolve conflict.
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.
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- Understanding the four key work styles
- Negotiating for your team
- Sharing a common objective
- Making team rules
- Directing the team
- Solving team conflicts<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.