5 Ways to Boost Productivity by “Playing Nice”

By Laura Diaz in Project Management on June 4th, 2015

A career in project management can be both challenging and rewarding. Not only are we responsible for managing every step of a project from beginning to end, we’re responsible for making sure all disciplines communicate smoothly and efficiently throughout the process.

CHALLENGE: To teach everyone to play nice (working together efficiently and effectively)
REWARD: A stronger, happier and more productive team environment

project management efficiency

The trick to playing nice is transparency among the team. Open and honest discussions lead to less confusion and fewer assumptions – that makes the work (and work environment) better, extremely efficient, and much more pleasant. So, how do we get there?  Here are five ways to increase your team’s productivity by ensuring everyone “plays nice.”


1. People First

It’s essential to allocate the right people for the project and clearly define their role from the beginning; this is an extremely important step in the process. It takes time to create the right schedules so we utilize different tools, such as Basecamp , to strategically allocate individuals based on skill set, resource availability, experience level and project familiarity.

For example, when working on an email marketing  project, we must know:

  • Which copywriter has bandwidth
  • Which designer has digital experience
  • Which developer can build the email
  • Who can deploy the email using the client specified Email Service Provider


2. Set Rules

BKV project managers define and establish rules and responsibilities BEFORE the project kick off meeting so everyone knows what’s expected of them. Each team member can then take ownership of their tasks and contribute to the success of the project.

Here are some basic rules:

  • Check your to-dos daily
  • Make comments in the right discussion thread (if using Basecamp)
  • Include your PM on new requests or to solve issues
  • Notify your PM if you are unlikely to deliver based on the schedule as soon as possible
  • Notify your PM if you are going to be absent from work
  • Be accurate with reporting your time on each project (PM’s can use this information when estimating similar projects)


3. Kick-Off

The kickoff meeting is, perhaps, the most important meeting in the project cycle. Clear guidelines and expectations must be set in order to ensure the team is on the same page, understands the deliverables and associated timelines. If at any point in a kick-off you become confused or unclear – speak up! This is the perfect opportunity to ask for clarification. You should be confident that you understand your deliverables by the time you leave a kick-off meeting.

  • We can’t have this meeting without you, so check your calendar daily.
  • If you can’t attend a meeting let your PM and supervisor know as soon as possible.


4. Raise your Hand!

If you notice an issue during the execution of a project, tell someone (your PM)! Deadlines are a huge part of client expectations and missing one could be critical. Don’t wait until the last minute when the due date is looming – no one can help you mitigate an issue if you don’t ask for help. Talk to the PM if you need more time to complete your task, PM’s can readjust your schedule or talk to Account Service to get you the time you need.

5. Treat Others as You Wish to Be Treated

Your mom said it, and it’s just as true in a work environment. Respecting others and their opinions is crucial for a well-functioning, cohesive team. Remember, we’re on the same team and have the same goal – to deliver a quality product.
Each individual has a different style of communication, so try to find the best way to interact with each other.

Here are a few other things to be aware of:

  • Finding the best way to communicate or provide feedback without being negative is an art
  • Be careful with non-verbal communication; your gestures and body language speak volumes
  • Try not to take things personally, this is a job

Our PM department is a multicultural team and we have learned the most effective way to communicate with each other. Although we are very logical in how we provide feedback, we respect our team members’ opinions.  

What have we learned? We need to be SMART.

Select the right people for the right project

Make an effort to create a healthy work environment

Agree on rules, goals and objectives for each project

Rely on open communication so that everyone is clear

Transmit the information using appropriate channels and communications to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Now, get out there and PLAY NICE!

Looking for a project management team that works together to get jobs done efficiently?

Contact our team at BKV today!