Chapter 4
Developing task-based team management
Developing task-based team management
Our working practices have been dramatically – and perhaps irrevocably – altered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shifts we were already seeing towards decentralised, hyper-connected team-working have been accelerated.

Every one of us has been impacted by the changes, but in different ways and to different extents. Some team members may have discovered a new enthusiasm or sense of purpose in these altered circumstances. They will be enjoying working from home with family around them and connecting virtually with colleagues. Others will quickly tire of video-conferencing, miss the ‘old normal’ of in-person, face-to-face communication, and lose motivation.

While everyone’s experience of the workplace is different – and, of course, it always was to some degree – then managing your team is about acknowledging individuality as well as finding common ground.

Teams unite around a shared purpose, so focusing the working day on achievable tasks is a good way to keep individuals engaged and projects on track.

Each day, think about how you can do the following:

  • Provide clarity of purpose for your team through centralised, task-focused communications.
  • Prioritise tasks to limit information overload and cognitive fatigue.
  • Provide your team with the right tools for the job.
  • Protect your team members’ prime time.
  • Allow individual team members uninterrupted time to work to their true potential.

It is also good practice to create protocols for each project:

  • Create a separate messaging channel for each project and limit discussions within that channel to those related to the project’s tasks.
  • Establish naming conventions for project-related messages so that they are easy to find.
  • Create to-do lists rather than having emails lingering in your inbox.
  • Convert messaging into an action item.
  • Delete or archive finished to-do lists and message threads.
  • Integrate your team’s to-do list, document sharing, calendar, and other apps with your team chat channel to make it easier for team members to transfer and share information.

Next: Innovate and evolve to be effective