Troubleshooting common problems in project teams
So, what happens when – in spite of best efforts – the project team hits a roadblock? First, it’s important to root out any behavioural issues underlying the problem, and then to consider whether the solution also lies with different behavioural approaches.
- Spending too long in initial phases
If the team is high in Plant and Resource Investigator behaviours, and is lacking task-focused behaviours (Shaper, Implementer, Completer Finisher), it’s possible to become stuck at the beginning of the project, with creative individuals battling to push their idea to the top of the pile, or stuck in reconnaissance. A Shaper contribution is needed to push for a solution and drive things forward, whilst Implementer and Completer Finisher styles will be required to ensure that plans are carried out, and to a high standard.
- Paralysis by analysis/death by discussion
If the team is over-represented in Monitor Evaluator (and even Co-ordinator) behaviours, it can be difficult to move past discussion to action. As well as leaving the team behind schedule, this can also prove frustrating to other team members who want to move things forward.
- Planning too early or getting bogged down in detail
On the other hand, if those whose contributions come into play at the end of a project (Implementers and Completer Finishers) are allowed in on the action too soon, the team can be led to settle on an inadequate or poorly-researched solution, in the name of getting things done and producing a result.
While we’re on the subject of research, Resource Investigator and Specialist contributions may be needed to ensure that the team is abreast of its competition, and to provide specific knowledge and expertise respectively. Without these behaviours, the team is at risk of missing a key piece of intelligence which could compromise success.