12.7. Final Team Meeting
The final team meeting should not be one where you discuss the IT project details. You should have already covered those issues during meetings to close out the issues log or update/create project documentation. The final team meeting should be used to help everyone recognize the contribution they made to the team, the project, and the company. It should be a fun, relaxing time and should be scheduled at a time all team members can attend. Figure 12.3 shows the flow chart for this process. A detailed discussion of the flow chart elements follows.
Figure 12-3. Final Team Meeting Process
INPUT The inputs for this final phase of the project are food, beverages, and a relaxing environment. Gather the team for the final team meeting in a location that provides the opportunity to relax, unwind, and talk.
ACTION The processes involved in this step are described in the section that follows.
CHECKPOINT The checkpoint is used to determine whether everyone on the team has had enough fun. If not, activities return to the project team celebration and continue in an iterative manner until all celebration is complete. When celebration meets completion criteria, the process results in the following outputs.
OUTPUTS The outputs from this final step in the IT project management process are: enjoyment, closure, bragging rights, and great stories to tell. Ensuring these outputs meet quality and quantity standards for your team will bring the project to a successful end.
NEXT STEPS The final step in this process is to thank everyone for their diligent efforts and disband the team.
While done in jest, the steps listed above are actually recommended steps to take with your team. You've worked hard, you've overcome obstacles individually and as a team, and you should celebrate your successes. A good leader understands the value of recognizing individual and group efforts even when things don't turn out perfectly. Focus on the positive during this final meeting. Some IT project managers like to hand out certificates of recognition, awards for outstanding service, or monetary rewards. If you're not good at party planning, find someone on your team who is (or get advice from your HR team) and plan a memorable, enjoyable event. Here's a quick checklist to help you celebrate in style (for all types of budgets):
Go out to lunch as a group (everyone chips in to pay the bill) or have a potluck.
Ask everyone on the team to come to the meeting (lunch, dinner, donuts, whatever) with a success story, silly story, or "believe it or not" story from the project.
As the IT project manager, prepare a short positive story about every team member to highlight their work, their personality, or the wins (or losses) they had during the project.
Hand out t-shirts, mugs, toys, prizes, certificates, and awards. If your budget can accommodate it (the real reason you try to manage your budget in IT PM), provide higher-end gifts such as customized jackets, embroidered polo shirts, sports bags, hats, or cash bonuses.
Arrange for a team outing like going to the movies or bowling as a group. Make sure all team members will be able to participate in the selected event.
Snap a group photo, (edit in anyone not present for the photo) and distribute a team photo to everyone on the team. Hang a copy in your office or in an appropriate location in the building.
Create a mock newspaper or magazine cover with your team's "headlines" on it and distribute to the team. Hang a copy in your office or in an appropriate location in the building.
Get creative, get silly, have fun, recognize and reward your team's efforts.
Once you've held your final team celebration, you're ready to disband the team and send them on to their next assignment.
As the IT project manager, you've had to work hard from start to finish to steer this project toward successful conclusion. At times it may have seemed like no one appreciated your hard work or your role in the success. At other times, it may have seemed like you were the whipping boy or girl since you seemed to take the heat no matter what. That's life as an IT project manager. You've got to love the challenge of organizing and managing all the moving parts. You've got to enjoy (and be good at) communicating with all kinds of people to find solutions to problems, middle ground in standoffs, and resolution in heated arguments. A great IT PM is a strong leader, negotiator, manager, counselor, accountant, scheduler, mediator, and communicator. If you bring those skills to the table and apply the techniques and processes we've discussed throughout this book, you'll be headed for success in the wild, wooly world of IT project management. With that, we'll close out this project and wish you all the success you can handle.
|Applying Your Knowledge|
"Leadership is not about the leader; it is about how the leader builds the confidence of everyone else. Leaders deliver confidence by espousing high standards in their messages, exemplifying these standards of conduct they model, and establishing formal mechanisms to provide a structure for acting on those standards." -Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Adapted from Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End, by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Copyright 2004 by Rosabeth Moss Kanter.