Saturday, 2 October 2010

Collating feedback on your iMedia team – how're you doing?

We have suggested that you evaluate your team members' performance as well as the overall project development process and share this with other project managers in the company a few times a year. The aim is to both improve the contribution from the team individuals as well as refine company processes so that projects run more smoothly. So, are any of you doing this? Has it made the difference it is meant to? The sense is obvious, but carrying out the task may well prove elusive. Hope not.

By way of encouragement to embed this practice into your company, we like the gist of Kiron Bondale's comments in Post Project Resource Evaluation: a forgotten contributor to success, Project Smart 3rd May 2010 where he pushes for each project manager/team leader to evaluate the team individuals at the end of a project using an objective 1-5 scale of performance with five questions defined by the company about expected project contribution. These are then fed into the employee's appraisal with his/her manager so that they can be referred to in the annual appraisal. (Do you have those yet? Strange if you don't.) Although Kiron suggests this when there is a split between the type of work a person does - some functional work according to a specialism and some project specific work - where the project manager is not accepted or seen as the actual manager of the person, this practice may well be useful for us in iMedia. What do you think?

It is as well to remember however that it is up to you to motivate your team and that ongoing timely feedback over the course of the project is essential and your responsibility. Feedback needs to be positive as well as negative too, so remember to praise where praise is due. Michelle Labrosse in 10 Ways to Inspire your Team, also from Project Smart, will remind you of the value of positive reinforcement, among other good points.

Finally if your team is performing as well as they can under difficulties generated by the clients themselves - and that's common in our line of work as we know - perhaps another point of view might help get them to coordinate their input to you. Joe, the web site manager at Water Aid, does a great job of explaining why his charity needed an internal project manager to help the success of their digital projects. Yes, they were doing it themselves but the same principle applies for your clients to feed clear instructions to you if they aren't doing their digital projects themselves. Streamlining communication always helps success. Nice article: Three Ways to Organise Staff for Digital Media Success, 3rd September 2010.

Get evaluating your teams!