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Not Getting Things Delivered on Time? Is Your Team Co-ordinated?

I remember this one incident as a team lead, in my early days of career, when a client had asked me to complete the project within two weeks. Assuming, that I had mentioned the deadline for the design and development at the first meeting while introducing the project, I kept waiting for the delivery from the team. I did not want to trouble them much by asking them where they are with the project, as I was new to the position and did not want to ruin my chances of making an impression.

Do you know what happened as a result?

I failed miserably in delivering the project on time. I was so upset that the client was angry with me that I took it out on the team. Their response and a lot of introspection later, I realized where I went wrong.

  • Firstly, I assumed that the team knew the deadline. When I spoke with the developer and tester why it took time, they claimed the designs were not ready for them to begin the work. On questioning the designer, he was not aware of how long the developer would need, and he was sure to take a week’s time.
  • Second, I had not coordinated with the team regarding the deadline. I just said yes without consulting them.
  • Third, I never really mentioned how much time either would get to finish the work and just sat thinking my job is to get the work done, without really questioning the methods or approach of achieving the same.
  • Fourth, I never got around to getting the team to talk to each other so that they can have a proper conversation regarding timelines.

This mistake taught me lessons of my lifetime, which I am now going to pass on to you. Why your team should be coordinated, and what are the signs that they are not coordinated.

Signs your team is not coordinated

  • Facing delays in delivery of the projects? Well, that’s your first sign that your team is probably not coordinated enough. The result of frequent delays is an ineffective team, which causes profitability issues.
  • Have you been seeing the same project element being delivered by two different people within the team? Well, there is clearly an issue in your team. Either the two team members we are talking about have purposely run against each other to prove a point or, nobody communicated to them who is going to finish the work.
  • There is no flexibility in the team when you hand over a task to them, then chances are your team is not capable enough to give some extra time or manage the other member’s time. In the long run, this kind of inflexibility can cause troubles in paradise and will ruin all the projects you take over.
  • Finally, if there is zero to very little communication between the members of the team, then chances are important information does not get delivered on time. this means no one is really aware of the timeline for the project, and you will never be able to complete the tasks on time.

Delivery becomes a questionable deal in this case. To ensure smooth delivery of projects and a good future for the organization, here are a few tips that should be helpful.

Tips for a coordinated future

  • A visionary attitude: Are you the team lead for the project or, the lead of the organization? You need to see even the smallest of projects with a global perspective. When you have a visionary attitude, chances are you will see better prospects, know where the changes are needed, will be able to manage the teams better and finally make informed decisions.
  • A common goal: The teams will understand each other better and even communicate for the future of the organization only when they know what they are expected to achieve. For instance, a common goal always helps the teams coordinate better and will help them set their timelines accordingly.
  • Getting to know: Yes, this is an important step, as it will help the team when they are being introduced to the new projects. You will need to introduce the team to each other, help them get to know each other. You could also try some of the team building exercises as they help the teams go strong. Once they know each other and there is some bond in the team, working with each other comes easily.
  • Plan before execution: An inexperienced me decided to just assign the task and did not bother about getting to the planning point. Today, I believe that planning helps more than any other method or approach, in winning more projects and getting things delivered on time. I believe that when a project arrives, before committing to the deadline, discuss with the team, know their views, and then finalize the deadline. You should plan way ahead of the execution so that you are left with a few days to make changes and even review the project.
  • Communicate your needs: communication is very important if you want to get things done on time. When you receive a task as a team leader, make sure you communicate every aspect of the task to your team, including the deliverables, project timeline, and the milestones. This makes it easier for them as well, to review what needs to be done, before actually starting the tasks.

Summing up

You should ideally do a team review every other month, and discuss the issues that the team is facing individually as well as with each other. Allow your team members to come and discuss the project at any point so that they don’t get stuck in the middle. Make yourself responsive to their needs.

With my extensive experience in handling medium to large teams and completing projects, I know what it takes to get things delivered on time. if you have been facing delivery issues at your organization or believe there is a lack of coordination between the members of the team, connect with me. Consultation from my end will help you resolve your problems, and rise from the ashes to grow as a profitable business.

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