Holding Your Team Accountable
A company’s success depends on its deliverables – whether a physical product or an intangible service. Regardless, projects have a beginning and an end. All of the steps in between must be accomplished for the team to succeed. And each person on your company’s team must be held accountable for their individual performance.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), considered one of the most famous industrialists of his era said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.”
When you assign your creative team a new project, remind them to track their work, communicate with one another, and meet deadlines.
1. Defining Ownership
For any team member to understand and respect their role in a process, a project manager must establish clear expectations. Each person’s tasks should be explained, if necessary, and a timeline should be discussed. Team members should commit to every element of the assignment and the deadline. The project manager should present a process flow, so everyone understands their impact on the project’s success.
2. Tools for Success
Does your team have the resources to produce quality work? If a client wants an ad campaign to introduce a new product, the creative team needs background information, market research, product comps, etc. Time spent gathering facts and figures reduces the inspiration period. After all, the creative team should be doing what they were hired for – creating.
3. Tracking Progress
Track each person’s progress with a user-friendly project planner software. When a writer has a copy ready for review, the content can be numbered and uploaded. All reviewers then get an alert that the draft is available. Now they can provide feedback for the writer to reference. This centralized repository helps document when changes occurred which is very helpful for tracking revisions. Graphic designers can add the copy to their layout and submit their work for review. Just like the ad content, this person’s work can be evaluated, and they can be directed toward the next task.
4. Ownership of Tasks
Tracking assignments on a shared platform also shows, in real time, where projects are being held up. Is the Graphics team waiting on content? Has the copy already been uploaded? Was the copy reviewed and approved by the client? Accountability needs to be maintained. If there’s a problem reaching a milestone on a project, the team must reevaluate next steps and reconsider the deadline.
5. Evaluation and Communication
Have you heard the phrase: “Don’t find the problem, solve the problem”? During every team project, work is reviewed by peers. Mark-ups, revisions, and corrections are shared. Sometimes, judgments are just subjective, without any other explanations. Remember, changes and feedback should always be delivered constructively. Dissension on the team wastes time. Keep the lines of communication open throughout the production process. Otherwise, the project can slow down, or come crashing to a halt.
When each person on your creative team accepts accountability, they understand how others are dependent on them. As they work together, the team develops a sense of pride and ownership of the project. Together, they are accountable for the common goal.