Team management is a complex process, especially as teams get bigger. But the need to have a system in place to track tasks and progress for each team member is evident in teams of all sizes.
Without proper team management, team members would end up working in silos and have erratic collaborative behaviour. And this is where technology comes to the rescue.
But the problem isn’t really the absence of resources or tools that enable managers to effectively manage their teams. It’s actually the abundance of it.
When attempting to implement tools within teams, managers often forget to focus on the team and get lost in the sea of tools available online. So before you introduce your team with a new tool, ensure that you’ve researched it well.
Identifying the right tool for your team
Your team is probably fighting with a set of problems. Identifying these problems will enable you to identify the right tool that will help you overcome it.
For instance, if team members often forget about tasks, you would need a team management tool that offers intelligent delay reminders. Similarly, you need to find a tool that offers the best solution to your problem.
Introducing technology in your team
Now comes the tough part – introducing your team to the new technology. Again, the problem here isn’t the lack of efficient tools but the unwillingness of team members to accept change.
You probably have a great tool narrowed down focused on solving your team’s problems. But you must ensure that you equip your team members with the information required to access the tool.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you introduce new tools:
Assemble an Implementation Champion
It is important to acknowledge that team members need time to adapt to new technologies. And they will have a lot of questions right away.
In order to save everyone’s time, you can put an ‘implementation champion’ in place, who is one of the team members that has gotten a head start on the tool and understands it well enough.
With an implementation champion, team members will have a support system in place that will guide them through the onboarding process on the tool. And since this champion is already a team member, the entire team will be comfortable in communicating with them.
Work out the kinks
Similar to an implementation champion, you can also assemble a team of 3-4 people and run a trial of the tool. It will give you an experience of how the tool will fit in your team.
Treat this as an experiment to test the effectiveness of the tool in solving your problem and its ease in adaptability by the team members.
This step in the process will enable you to work out all the kinks and be confident in the tool while you introduce it to the team.
Train team members
Everyone requires a little training when they are introduced to something new. And so does your team.
Everyone has different styles and needs when it comes to learning so ensure that you have a training program fit for all team members. Most tools offer a demonstration or training for teams but if the tool you’ve chosen does not, it becomes even more important that you brief and train team members.
During the course of training, you need to develop a sense of familiarity between the tool and the team members. And also explain how the tool will benefit them in their everyday work.
Remember that training should encourage and excite team members to use the tool more.
Tools have today simplified team management for managers as well as team members.
A McKinsey survey of business leaders found that responses to COVID-19 have “speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years—and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.”
Since the pandemic, tools have become an essential part of our work life. Even with semi-distributed teams, tools are a common companion in everyday operations. And it’s here to stay because it provides real benefits to teams across all fields.