Tag Archives: Team Building

WRITING TO WIN: Coordination in Successful Teamwork

By Royce Murcherson

Royce top pictureIn the last blog, I talked about collaboration as part of an overall team structure that helps colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes. Communication is also a key component in collaboration, for without communication there can be no real collaboration. And without coordination, the fruits of communication and collaboration are lost.

The Three ‘C’ Model:  COMMUNICATION * COLLABORATION * COORDINATION

What is coordination? It is the glue that holds the model together. Coordination within teams is simply ensuring the job gets done.  If you find yourself in the role of ‘team leader’, you must ask yourself two questions. What is my role and what will it take to get the job done?

The Role of Team CoordinatorRoyce People holding MS logo puzzle

  • The team leader or team coordinator serves as a primary liaison between team members.
  • The team coordinator is responsible for making sure team members are keenly aware of their specific roles and function within the group.
  • Team coordinators are also tasked with the authority to make critical decisions when the team cannot arrive at a consensus.

Coaching ResponsibilitiesThe Responsibilities of the Team Coordinator

Think of a team coordinator as a coach in a team sport. The team is made up of individuals each with particular skills or talents. The team coordinator must channel all of these talents into an effective force that will bring a project to completion.

The Team Coordinator Must:

  • Have a long term vision of the work to be done
  • Know each team member
  • Define team roles
  • Ensure the team has a common goal
  • Make sure all team members know their assignments
  • Leverage resources and specific skills of the team
  • Create a workable plan
  • Have the correct tools available for the team to complete their tasks
  • Encourage effective communication among the team
  • Conduct periodic checkpoints to determine progress against deliverables.

 

Coordination AbsentWhat Happens when Coordination is Absent?

A lack of coordination within a project team can decrease productivity, complicate processes and delay the completion of projects. Below are some common signs:

  • Duplication of Work A usual sign of a lack of coordination within a project team is redundancy. Redundancy is caused by a lack of communication. With redundancy, an organization will spend double the efforts, materials and time to produce the same item twice. Redundancy typically results from the poor coordination of a project team.
  • Lost Information Teams must effectively share information to function at an optimal level. When this information is not readily available as needed within the team, the lack of information can create a cascading effect that will damage the team. Lost information can lead to delays.
  • Delays on Deliverables – Deliverables are the building blocks of an overall project. Deliverables can be reports, documents, and software upgrades, anything that contributes to the successful delivery of the project to the customer. One of the signs that team lacks coordination is called ‘delay’ and delays on deliverables can cause a project to miss a completion date.

Advantages of Team CoordinationThe Big Advantages of Team Coordination

The advantages of team coordination are realistic. Roles, responsibilities and deadlines are assigned. Informal coaching and mentoring takes place which benefits the group. It ensures a consolidation of work that can be measurable, attainable, and time constrained. It provides a single access point of communication between the team coordinator and business executives.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, anino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


Writing to Win: COLLABORATION, the Second ‘C’ in Success

by Royce Murcherson

Writing to Win Book CoverIn the last blog post, I talked about teamwork in the workplace being more effective when communication, collaboration, and coordination are at the center. I began the discussion focusing on the importance of effective communication. It should be concise. It should present information in the form of a well thought out plan.  It should be clear and easy to understand. It should speed up the decision-making process.  And it should be inherently persuasive which speaks directly to the level of collaboration a strong team must have to be successful.

Without communication, there can be no real collaboration.

WHAT IS COLLABORATION?

Collaboration is a group process through which colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes not limited to one individual idea. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COLLABORATE?

What Does It Mean to CollaborateCollaborating means:

  • Everyone has a voice at the table
  • Being perceived as a good partner
  • Valuing Different Viewpoints
  • Coming across as a common united front

THREE ESSENTIALS IN THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

  • Three EssentialsEngage Your Partners – Team members should share knowledge. Knowledge sharing is a healthy and productive means by which the group can arrive at the best solution.
  • Capture Ideas and Action Items – Team members should keep an accurate record of meeting notes. Some alternative forms of note taking can include diagrams or flow charts that visually depict innovative proposals.
  • Recognize Ideas – Team members should give credit where credit is due. A pat on the back, a nod at the table, and a simple “I agree” can go a long way. There is no stronger motivation than positive feedback.

TWO MUST-HAVE’S TO MAKE IT WORK

  • Two Must-HaveBuild Relationships – It is absolutely essential to build relationships among your team members. Take time to build personal relationships by getting to know each other.  During this process, strengths and opportunities can be discovered and used to the best advantage of the team.
  • Foster Trust – Being able to depend on your colleagues to deliver tasks on time and in detail is also absolutely essential. Trust is the confidence. And confidence that each member will fully contribute to the group eliminates pressure and unnecessary stress.

THE BIG ADVANTAGES         

Since collaboration is now a hot item in the workplace, the advantages are not hard to spot. Collaborative teams bring together different viewpoints because teams are frequently pulled from different talent pools or departments to achieve one goal.  Because a variety of ideas will be put on the table, it’s much easier to develop ingenuity when there is more than one option. Good ideas give way to better ideas.  Groups who collaborate tend to be more inventive and resourceful.  Collaboration can also bring a certain unity to the decision-making process. Having more than one stakeholder ensures that team decisions will be reflective of all and not one, eliminating perceived bias. Lastly, a quick delivery of the product is likely to occur.  Having several hands on deck is an automatic advantage when considering a collection of talent, skills, and intellect.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

            Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

______________________________________________________________________________
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, ANino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.


Five Tough Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Soft Skills
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Are you a team player?

“Mastering technology to get a job and keep a job is a fact of life. Yet, technical skills alone are not an avenue to advancement. For career resilience, it’s important to connect with others in authentic and meaningful ways. That means pairing digital skills with soft skills—behaviors, practices and core values.”

The above is a quote from an article on the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) Web site.  The article appeared in the association’s January/February 2015 publication. You should be able to answer “Yes” to all but one of the questions.  See if you can determine which question’s answer is a definite “No.”

These five questions should be reviewed often!  If you are happy with the job you currently have, a reminder of the specifics of these questions will assist you in keeping that job for as long as possible.

Here is a link to the article:  Five Tough Questions


 

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.