As businesses grow and change, it’s not uncommon to find project managers suddenly saddled with more growth than they can handle. But for a great PM, managing growth is part of the job. When thinking about how to build a team and encourage the best from your team members, consider a few tips for keeping your growing company clear-eyed, accountable and streamlined, no matter what the size.
Know Who You’re Working With
In the midst of sudden (or even gradual) team growth, it can feel impossible to keep up with each team member as an individual. However, as a project manager, one of the key aspects of managing growth is making sure you get to know who you’re actually working with. Don’t use the growing size of the team as an excuse not to use emotional intelligence to understand your team members and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Check in with your team members individually as much as you possibly can, either in person or through email and chat platforms.
Hire a Growth Manager
One of the crucial components to managing growth is hiring someone whose job it is to assess team growth wisely, as well as making sure the company is ready for the changes that team growth brings. This is the job of a Growth Manager, who will generally report to you and the marketing manager to figure out how to build a team that can support its own weight, both financially and in terms of workload. Strategizing with a growth manager will take some of the weight off your shoulders and allow the company to expand without experiencing unpleasant growing pains.
No matter how large or small your team is, communication is always a core component of managing growth. When considering how to build a team that will work together seamlessly and effectively, take some time to research the best inter-office communication methods and software available. If the team is too large for one-on-one meetings, invest in a chat platform or scheduling tool that will allow everyone to stay checked in on each other’s progress. Using cloud-based project management software like Clarizen can be extremely helpful for team accountability and transparency.
Split Off into Smaller Groups
One of the most important aspects of managing growth is knowing how to play to team members individual strengths. This means splitting members off into smaller teams that have a proven track record. If you’re experiencing an influx of new hires, be sure to assess their strengths and weaknesses before mainstreaming them into a pre-existing team. One of the most important parts of your job as a project manager is knowing your team inside-out, no matter how large it gets. Knowing how to best use your ‘A’ players will help you keep ahead of the problems sudden growth can bring. The best way to keep ahead of things is to make sure your smaller teams are able to work together to produce consistent results.