5 ways to Improve Team ProductivityManjiri Ranade
“I had told you to send minutes as soon as the meetings were over, why did you not do it?”
“You say that Sam had asked you to do it that way, but how can you prove it?”
“What was the testing team doing? How did they ok this build?”
The questions were flying fast, the meeting room had gone silent, the faces grim. This is a common scene when the latest build is not working as it was supposed to. The customer makes the escalation call up the escalation chain. All the seniors right from the top boss demand for the status every hour on the hour. The team lead suddenly has to handle 4 status meetings to attend, build that is failing, and no clue about what actually has gone wrong. We all have faced this situation. Anxiety levels rising, the blame starts passing from delivery team to QA team to Deployment team back and forth. Teams are intent on defending themselves, that they did not make a mistake – they followed the process.
How do you resolve this situation? How do you make them productive? Here is what has worked for me.
- Communicate with customers and let them know the real situation and how and by when the problem will be solved setting realistic expectations. Keep them updated.
- Focus the team on solving the problem at hand. Work with them to form a plan to detect and resolve the problem at hand.
- Absorb all the pressure from the seniors. Take responsibility for the situation. Do not just pass it through to the team. A team under undue pressure will make more mistakes
- Bring the status meetings to reasonable numbers. Let the doers do and not spend time on the report.
- Have a root cause analysis meeting after the escalation is handled.
Let me know what worked for you in the comments.