Systemic Coaching and IT – Part 2: Fast Lane to successful Teams?
Teams are the basis of nearly every IT-project. Project managers, analysts, hardware-specialists, software-engineers, sales people, future users, and other shareholders form this team. The formal structure and the objectives are fixed at the start of the project, but the path to a successful team is still long. Systemic coaching can accelerate building a successful team, and subsequently reduce implementation time and project costs significantly.
In addition to the formal hierarchy there are also informal structures, which are important for the cooperation of team members. In everyday life we encounter these informal structures everywhere. We know who to best talk to in order to quickly get the information needed, and we know who is really in charge and capable of making a difference. These functions are not always congruent with organizational functions. This knowledge, as well as personal relationships, arise in the course of the project.
These ‘shadow structures’ enable ‘fast lanes’ to both execute the necessary tasks, and to reach the project milestones in time. Details can quickly be clarified, information exchanged in timely manner, problems recognized earlier, and cost kept within budget.
Startup-Event: Team Coaching
Identifying and using these ‘informal structures’ at an early project state delivers great advantages to all members of the project team. At this time Systemic Coaching can deliver a great value to the project. Startup events and team coaching can help develop personal connections between team members and create these informal structures even before the actual tasks begin. The slow process of integration between team members can therefore be accelerated and full operational capability can be attained earlier.
What negative effects could occur if convergence would only take place during the course of the project? Unnecessary delays and increasing cost could potentially be negative consequences. “If I had known you can help me, I would have been consulting you earlier.” Everyone knows situations like this.
Problems among team members
But what if during this team event problems arise between team members personally? While the problems may surface either way, by realizing these issues earlier on, apropriate action could be taken prior to begin of the actual project.
The cost of these actions (startup-events, team coachings, systemic coaching for some team members, etc.) are usually low compared with cost caused by problems inside the teams during the project.
In the next part of this series I will highlight the use of systemic coaching in the analysis phase of IT projects.