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How to Fix a Broken IT Team

Being assigned to manage a project team presents the uninitiated manager with a host of surprises, not all of them nice. In order to get things running smoothly, to be proud of and comfortable with your team, you’re going to need to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Jim Anderson has some great advice for that “fixer-upper” of a team in a post for PM Hut.

Anderson’s advice can be broken down like this.

1. Have a Talk

Right from the get-go you’ll want to sit down with each team member individually to ask about what’s right with the project. Then ask what could be improved. Chances are, you’ll get a mix of answers from the various team members, but overall, you should start to see a pattern emerge:

The very first thing that you are going to want to do is nothing. That means that you should not make any big announcements about how things are going to get better or how you are so happy to be here. Nobody is going to believe you and you’ll just lose credibility right off the bat.

2. Share and Discuss

Once you’ve got a snapshot of the team’s condition, a fair assessment from all members, it’s time to make things public. Have a group meeting in which you expose the project’s deficits and strengths, and allow feedback to flow from each member.

3. Set the Agenda to Fix What’s Broken

Having set everything on the table, it’s now time to formulate an official repair strategy. Keep in mind, this is not an external mandate from you, but rather an internal initiative spurred by each team member’s own drive to get things right.

4. Discover Miscommunication

Of course, if there’s a chronic problem present in the team, chances are it won’t magically resolve simply because the affected people want it to. After the proposed changes are set into motion, you’ve got to wait in the wings to see where communications channels are misfiring. That is where the real repair begins to happen.

Read the full post at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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