Robins suggests that many teams do poorly because they are lacking something. This can be a lack in clear and realistic goals, a lack of clear ownership, or a lack in many other areas. Another area of lacking that Robins points out is lack of a clear and achievable timeline. This, he explains, can send any project or project team off course:
It is important to set deadlines and stick with them. Don’t rely on heroic performances by the team or individuals to make the deadlines. Divide the project to short and achievable segments (like sprints in Scrum). Divide each project segment to logical tasks and divide each task to sub-tasks. Keep doing so until each task is totally understood and could be done in a short time. Write a clear definition for each task (this should be done by team leaders for large projects). Ask the person responsible for each task to make a three points estimation on how long each task might take. Use these estimations to come up with task duration. This should give you a 80% probable change of making the task on-time. Use a good collaborative task manager to make this work more manageable.
Robin goes on to credit a lack of communication with being responsible for team failures. It does not matter how well each member of your team works individually if they are unable to communicate to one another and combine efforts. If face to face communication is difficult, Robin notes that online communication is still preferable to no communication at all. Remember, if your team is underperforming, perhaps it is because they are lacking team skills rather than dealing with an extremely difficult project.