1.2.1 Target dates
The overall plan will indicate the start dates for each group of activities, or each task. A useful way of focusing activities on achieving outcomes is to provide clear dates for completion of stages and of final outcomes. If there are a number of different types of team, these may start and finish tasks at different times. Where the work of one team depends on another having completed in time, there are important issues to consider. Although a good control system will provide information about progress on the tasks, the relationships between the people in the teams can have a profound influence on the process, with the potential to add considerable value or to cause considerable disruption.
Think back to projects in which you have had a part. From your experience, note some of the ways in which you have seen teams add value to a project, and some ways in which projects can be disrupted by lack of co-operation between teams.
Value can be added at any stage of a project, if teams focus on delivering the best that they can to their customers. In some cases the immediate customer of one team may be another team, who develop the project on the basis of the first team's work. As with any customers, finding out more about what they really want and delivering the best that can be produced within the scope and budget of the project will add value. Teams that achieve all that is required of them within the resource limitations and hand over their part of the project helpfully also add value. Value can be added by applying what has been learned from working on the project to improve working practices. New skills can be developed through project work, including team working, supervision, coaching and peer support. You have probably thought of many other ways in which value can be added.
Teams also have considerable power to disrupt. They can delay work so that their tasks are not completed on time, they can work carelessly and produce work of a poor quality. They can allow personal interactions to cause conflict and stress. They can adopt attitudes that present a poor image of the organisation to external stakeholders. They can simply behave badly.