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Team management is a collective term used to describe various strategies and processes that are designed to promote unity and coordination between the members of a group or team. The goal for any team management process is to actively involve all group members in working toward a common goal, providing a means for each group member to participate in that endeavor. There are a number of different approaches to forming and organizing teams, as well as overseeing or managing their ongoing function. As with many management strategies, there is no one ideal mode of team management that fits every situation and setting.
There are a few essential characteristics that play a role in any type of team management. One of those aspects is the ability to accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses that every team member brings to the effort. Doing so makes it possible to arrange essential tasks in a manner that allow people to utilize their skills in areas where they excel, thus moving the entire team closer to the ultimate goal.
At the same time, being aware of areas in which different team members show some talent or ability makes it possible to cross-train team members to handle tasks normally managed by others. This aspect of team management makes it possible to always have backup resources to call upon if a team member is incapacitated or unavailable for a period of time. Even if someone is unable to perform assigned duties for a short period of time, tasks are still completed and the team continues to move forward.
Effective team management also involves mentoring each member of the team, providing them with support and encouragement. Often, the mentoring process also includes providing opportunities for team members to obtain additional knowledge and experience that ultimately is to the benefit of everyone involved. As part of this process, maintaining an open and honest line of communication with each team member is important if the mentoring process is to function at full efficiency.
When team management is effective, the end result is a group of people who are willing and able to unit behind the pursuit of a common goal, drawing on the resources at hand to develop strategies and processes that make it possible to achieve the desired result. Managers today often benefit from utilizing project management software to keep track of which tasks are scheduled to be completed within a given time frame and to help team members stay focused and on track. In some situations, the team manager serves more as a facilitator, encouraging a group dynamic in which everyone participates in the decision making process, while retaining the responsibility of making the final decision at each step during the project.