The blog

Previous article

Next article

13 Oct

Ten things to agree upon

Datum: 2010-10-13 10:47

To be effec­tive on your own as if you were iso­lat­ed in your own bub­ble is one thing, but what about when we work togeth­er with oth­er peo­ple, in a project or in any form of team?

As soon as we are more than one per­son, it is easy …

  • to do unnec­es­sary things, due to misunderstandings
  • that tasks fall through the net and remain uncom­plet­ed because it was unclear that some­one had to do some­thing specific
  • that we are wait­ing for some­one to do some­thing, though this per­son isn’t aware that we’re wait­ing for them
  • that we spend more ener­gy on some­thing than what is nec­es­sary, since we think oth­ers expects some­thing from us that they don’t
  • that in a project we do the same thing twice since one per­son doesn’t know what the oth­er is work­ing on

The bot­tom line is that valu­able time is wast­ed and it becomes more stren­u­ous to achieve our goals and get to the place we’re aim­ing at.

Cre­ate sol­id frames to feel free within

Here are ten things you gain time from by hav­ing agreed upon with those you work with.?Discuss and deter­mine how you’re going to …

  1. book meet­ings. Who is respon­si­ble for the book­ings? In what medi­um do you book the meet­ings (via the sched­ul­ing func­tion in the shared agen­da, by call­ing each oth­er, or before you leave the last meet­ing)? How much time in advance do you need to make arrangements?
  2. have meet­ings. Do you need a stan­dard agen­da? How do you want to act dur­ing the meet­ing? What mate­r­i­al should be pre­pared and how long in advance?
  3. doc­u­ment what has been said & agreed upon in a meet­ing. Who takes notes? How detailed do they need to be? Where do you store the well defined next steps you agree upon? How do you illus­trate the deci­sions made and how do you pro­ceed with them?
  4. inform each oth­er when you don’t expect any activ­i­ty. How do you, for exam­ple in the sub­ject line of an e‑mail, com­mu­ni­cate that this is pure­ly and sim­ply infor­ma­tion, you don’t need to respond or react, but you need to know what this is about”? The more clear­ly you express your­self, the faster the mes­sage will be han­dled by the receiver.
  5. do when you get stuck with a task you’re respon­si­ble for. Find an easy and quick way to brain­storm about the prob­lem with your col­leagues so that you’re able to get help quick­ly and move on faster. A forum for dis­cus­sions? The next cof­fee break? A five-minute meet­ing right where you’re standing?
  6. del­e­gate a task to some­one else. How are you going to define the task so that it’s easy for the recip­i­ent to under­stand what to do? How do you make it clear to the per­son the task is del­e­gat­ed to, what and when you expect her to deliver?
  7. report back on a task that has been del­e­gat­ed to you. It’s one thing to do what has been agreed upon, and anoth­er to clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate that now it’s done”. The per­son that has del­e­gat­ed the task to you may have tasks which in turn are depen­dent on that you’ve done your part.
  8. store doc­u­ments relat­ed to a spe­cif­ic project. What kind of fold­er struc­ture should be in the project fold­er on the shared serv­er, so all the col­leagues can find and browse through your project mate­r­i­al on a day when you’re away from the office?
  9. do when you notice that an e‑mail dia­logue is drag­ging on and on, that is, when the sub­ject line starts with RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: …”. Who says Stop, now it’s time for a meet­ing!” and when? Many dis­cus­sions are dealt with quick­er face to face than via e‑mail.
  10. keep each oth­er updat­ed on where you are at in the project you are work­ing on togeth­er, so that every one can make an esti­ma­tion of how much time they will have to devote. How do you pre­vent to rein­vent the wheel in two places simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, that is, doing things twice? Is the clas­sic GANTT-chart ade­quate or do you need oth­er sketch­es illus­trat­ing more aspects of the project as well? Per­haps you should do a visu­al illus­tra­tion of the project flow where you can see how your project group inter­acts with oth­er peo­ple involved? How often do you need to update each other?

If you decide upon a hand­ful of set frames every­thing will flow eas­i­er, and each and every­one can focus on the tasks that real­ly need some extra effort.

How have you done it?

In your team, what have you agreed upon in order to facil­i­tate and ease the dai­ly work? 

Feel free to leave a com­ment below.