One of the important factors in building a BI solution rapidly is for the whole group involved in the project to work together as a team. Each member of the team will have a specific role but they all need to be working together towards a common goal. Often however we have a very large team working on a significant BI project and this fact creates a challenge for producing a result rapidly. The leadership of the team can coordinate activities but teamwork among the team is critical.
I have found that the building of an environment of trust among the members of the team is very important. How might we achieve this in a large team?
Clearly with a large team we need to divide the team into sub-project groups with a leader for each sub-group with goals. Next the leader needs first to create an atmosphere of trust with the leadership group. Then this trust must be developed within the smaller groups.
To develop an atmosphere of trust, the group must learn something about each other and their strengths and weaknesses. When the team understands each other, an atmosphere of trust can be created. The trust component develops over time as the team works together to help each other resolved issues as they arrive.
When issues arrive, conflict will arise in the team on how to deal with the issue. In a well functioning team disagreements will arise and some heated arguments may arise. The team needs to work through the conflict. With the help of the leader, the team must come to an agreement on the approach and everybody then must support the approach. Without open conflict where all opinions are heard, often the group will not be committed to the solution.
A lack of commitment on the part of some members will undermine the team. By working through the conflicts with an atmosphere of trust will create more commitment by the members of the team.
As commitments are made, the whole team must call each members to be accountable to meet commitments made. However when difficulties arise, other members of the team must be ready to step in and help even if the help falls outside their area of accountability.
All though the project the leader must remind the team to goals and objectives of the project so that no one loses sight of the objectives.
Creating an environment of collaboration and teamwork is very important if results are going to be produced rapidly. Time spent by the project team working on the trust and other teamwork issues can reap huge rewards. One often gets resistance from a team to spend time working through these issues. As the atmosphere of trust develops, the group will appreciate the value of the time spent.
Most of us spend so much time thinking about the challenging technical issues that face us on a project we fail to take the time to build a spirit of collaboration on the team. Without taking time, I think we have a high probability of having a dysfunctional team that will have real difficulty as problems arise. A great team works together to create results that can exceed our wildest dreams.