The most successful project managers know that to keep a team on track they must find the most operative way to continuously measure their performance and more importantly—their effectiveness. Just as there are an endless variety of projects and tasks, there are countless ways in which you can choose to measure team performance.
Measuring team effectiveness may make sense in quantitative means for some projects, whereas establishing a level of trust works better on other tasks. A project manager should know their team well enough to decide which approaches work best for critiquing them. The following are some general ways in which project managers are successfully measuring team effectiveness:
Determining the success of a project is one thing, but measuring an employee’s individual output is another. Managing by objectives is a method for measuring effectiveness in which a project manager assesses an employee’s particular output and how it contributes to the company strategy and deliverables.
In order for this method to work, every team member must be given set goals at the beginning of the project so that there’s a standard to be gauged against. Annual or 6-month evaluations should help you align project goals with individual skills and experience. You should also meet regularly with your team members to discuss progress and address any issues as they arise.
Team members that demonstrate consistent and reliable behavior are guaranteed to rate at a higher level of effectiveness for the team. The more a team trusts their project manager the more comfortable they will feel with immediately admitting and correcting mistakes. This will lead to a higher level of productivity. Errors can be corrected faster because a deep level of trust has been established. In fact, statistics show that high-trust organizations out-perform low-trust companies by 286%.
There are quite a few ways to measure actual productivity depending upon what you wish to accomplish. The quantitative method of measuring productivity establishes how much products or services a team member produces. This is not applicable for every type of project and thus there are more arbitrary means of measuring team performance.
Measuring sales and service is another way in which a project manager can determine the productivity of a team member. Profit is yet another useful metric when evaluating productivity. Every 6-12 months a PM should be reassessing the baseline for goals that accurately consider the current market and business operating conditions.
This is one of the tried and true means by which project managers measure team member productivity. There are many software programs available for tracking the time it takes to accomplish certain tasks and objectives within a project.
Accurate measurement will reveal how much time is spent accomplishing duties as well as how much off time is spent and where (i.e. illness, vacation, social media, etc.). Although this technique can be highly effective, it is typically harder to track team performance as it grows larger.
One of the best ways to truly assess a team member is to ask the other members of the team. This is generally called the 360-degree-feedback method and uses the comments and opinions of other employees to measure an individual’s productivity. It is best to use this method in conjunction with another objective process that you can practice outside of the team, but it is great data to have in terms of assessing a team member’s contributions.
The best way to use the 360-degree-feedback technique is to ensure employees have training prior to giving critiques so they understand what is considered well-balanced and partial input. Once bias is removed, this can be a very effective method for measuring a team’s ongoing effectiveness.
A good project manager will know their team well enough to understand exactly which method (or combination of methods) will work best for their project. Measuring the ongoing effectiveness of your team means understanding your people, how exactly to gauge their productivity, being open to feedback and establishing foundational trust. When this happens, a project sees success almost every time.