Leading teams can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. I think I can say it with confidence that there are huereca moments and then there are the not-so-bright moments.
In whichever moment you currently are, it’s important to remember that successful teams don’t magically happen, they are created. Part of the creation process is on your shoulders and the other part depends on powerful tools and methods to stay steering towards mutual objectives. Although, human reflexes tend to search for perfect solutions or magic recipe, if you will, there is no such thing.
As the ever-rising tidal wave of information has grown over the head, it’s hard to keep up with new trends.
The good news? There is one magically simple and easy to implement technique that can help your team on the road of conquering the world. One of such technique is called the PPP process - Progress, Plans, Problems.
The practice is used by companies like Skype, Facebook and eBay. Let’s be honest, if these enterprises have been successful in managing their teams, there is a learning curve you might be able to leverage.
PPP is a management technique for a recurring status reporting. It could be done daily, weekly or monthly - however you find most suitable. This means that during a specified time each individual team member reports 3-5 key achievements, goals and challenges from the reporting period. Here is a quick and visually awesome example how John and his team have put the PPP into practice.
When was the last time you felt like you truly know what your team has been up to? It’s only natural not being able to manage all roles at once. But is this the part you should surrender to the information overflow? Regardless of the team size, most busy leaders struggle to pull out most important data when it comes to their team’s everyday functions. Well, that is exactly where the PPP process comes in handy.
Each P is unique and important in the overall progress communication:
- P for Progress indicates what each employee has achieved. This is a great way to realize what everyone got done. What is more, asking this on a regular basis makes the employees think about their progress and hopefully make room for reflection. Encourage people to write down not more than 3-5 key achievements. This will keep the process informative.
- P for Plans communicates the future activities. Knowing the plans is as important as knowing the progress. At this point, you still have time to act and jump in if you see that plans are not set according to objectives. Learning to plan and prioritize might just be the most valuable skills in time management.
- P for Problems indicates challenges employees face. When time runs up, concentrate on this part. The other P-s can be dealt with tomorrow, but this needs immediate attention. It’s like a little red flag that shows someone needs guidance or support. After all, two heads are better than one.
So, hop on the train and realize the full benefit of the PPP methodology. The goal is to bring everyone on your team on the same page. It is easy to implement and takes only few minutes a week. You could use e-mail or a simple spreadsheet to make PPP work for you or use online tools, like Weekdone, that compiles the information automatically.
For more information go to PPP resource page. But now it’s your turn. How do you keep yourself updated with team-members achievements, challenges and plans?
Külli Koort is the marketing director of Weekdone, a start-up that builds team collaboration and employee progress reporting tools based on popular management methodologies like PPP and OKR. You can connect with her and the Weekdone team on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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