Last month, while working on the taping of Richard St. John’s talk The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 To Be Great, I had the opportunity to work with an audience co-coordinator for the first time (someone whose function is to ensure there are bums in the seats!) and it got me thinking about how we work with teams.
Our core talents are creative development and project management. This allows us to work with specialized talent for specific parts of a project, keeping us agile and flexible.
Working with a new team can be very challenging and enjoyable, so I thought I share with you some tips to developing successful teams and how to continue and build those relationships further.
Five phases of building a team for your projects
1. Jump into the deep end of the talent pool:
On any given day we’re working on websites, videos, live events and product launches. The wide variety of services means we have to have a vast talent roster, from illustrators to new media designers, from videographers to talent co-coordinators.
We are constantly reaching out to various creative disciplines to seek out the best and the brightest. We do this long before a project is even been conceived. We love finding great people to work with and we are always looking for new talent. We take the time to meet with them and find out what makes them tick, what they’re passionate about and how they can serve the projects SJG takes on.
2. “The Fit”:
Once a project map out the various tasks, and we also begin developing the type of talent needed to make that project a success. Next we assign talent to the tasks from our internal resources as well as the roster of freelance talent we have pre-screened.
When selecting your talent, be sure to keep in mind the priorities of the project and understand the value each expert can bring to the project. Like finding the right fit in a pair of jeans, you need to find the right fit in talent to deliver extraordinary results for your project.
3. Context and Communication:
In the mobile world that we live in, it’s possible for a project to be executed without physically meeting some of the key players on your team. Providing clear direction to your team members, helps keep them focused on your project, as well as fostering teamwork. It is important as the project manager to pull the team together quickly and get everyone on the same page.
Making all relevant information available to your team members is a great starting point to building your relationship. Using web-based project management software such as Basecamp is a great tool for collaborating with your team and your clients. Using this tool, you can store and share all of the necessary documents from the scope of work, to critical paths, to reviewing current versions of work.
4. Be prepared:
There’s a saying that states: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”. So why not be prepared for that to happen? There is no such thing as being over-prepared. Being confident that a plan is in place for when that “what-if” event takes place is also a powerful project management tool. Having a planned reaction can make the “wrong” disappear altogether, allowing the team confidently to continue.
5. Releasing the team and continued communications:
As rapidly as teams come together, at the conclusion of the project the team disperses at the conclusion of the assignment.
Our freelance talent pool is a valued part of our extended SJG family. We may work with some people over and over again on specific projects, and other times it may be months or years before we need that type of talent again.
Continued communication beyond the project is a must to keep up-to-date with your freelance talent pool, to understand what their passions are and how their talents have evolved since the last project. This constant contact allows you to always know who is the best fit for the next project.
Using this methodology for acquiring and using talent proved to be successful with Richard’s talk. Not only did we have 200+ attendance. But the team worked effectively and efficiently to the same goal of a successful project.
Do you have a talent relationship strategy? Following these steps for acquiring and leveraging talent has proven to be a successful methodology with many projects at SJG.