I grew up obsessed with sport. I've always played team sports, mostly football and rugby.
I've always been fascinated by team dynamics and it became more important to understand team dynamics and pyschology when I became a coach.
There are so many comparisons between sport teams and business teams.
The teams that I have found to be most effective are those that have good processes in place, and the discipline to stick to them.
Teams can make great strides towards improved collaboration by focusing on strong communication, accountability, and execution.
For Business Teams, this translates to having good processes for effective communication, knowledge transparency, and task management.
Process and Culture
Many teams I work have never taken the time to map out their processes so that everyone understands how their business operates.
This can be for many reasons, but the end result is that there are repeating issues, bottlenecks and "fires" to be put out.
One of the biggest issues most employees have is having their time wasted on seemingly fixable issues.
There's a saying from Peter Drucker that "Culture eats strategy for breakfast".
If you would like to improve your teams culture, addressing underlying process and workday issues is one of the first steps to improving culture. Address issues that impact your team.
If a team is supported from higher up, there is limitless ability to grow and improve productivity.
Email - Team members get swamped in email communication and spend too long in their Inbox every day.
Tasks - Teams don't have an effective collaboration process and tasks get forgotten or slip through the cracks.
Legacy - Things have been done the same way for a long time, but need modernising and require lots of manual intervention daily, weekly, or monthly.
Insights - The team does not have the data they need to be able to make decisions from actionable reports.
Confusion - Nobody in the team is sure exactly how some processes are supposed to work. Employees who put them in place have since left.
No Documentation - Processes are shared to existing and new employees verbally. This causes huge redundant effort and is often wrong or incomplete.
Disruptions - Notifications from email, slack, and more make getting focused work done next to impossible for many team members.
Meetings - Some teams don't understand the cost of having so many people at a meeting where many individuals are often not required.
Barry O'Sullivan, Former Tech Lead and Solution Architect at Dynamic Reservations
I worked with Daragh in Dynamic Reservations as the tech lead of a remote development team. We had team members in the Ukraine, Dublin and Wexford (myself), so we were pretty distributed.
Daragh was responsible for every aspect of our tooling and processes, putting everything we needed into place so we could work as a highly effective remote team. As our team changed and grew over time, so did our our processes, evolving and adapting to meet the needs of the product and the team, and Daragh was key to this. He worked closely with myself and the rest of them, iteratively resolving any blockers we had, finding the quickest and simplest solution to enable team cohesion, momentum and success.
Overall I'd say this was one of the most effective teams I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of, and I believe it wouldn't have been possible without Daragh.
Shane Curtin, MD VROOM Digital
Daragh put in place some simple tools and effective processes that has allowed us to serve even more clients, faster.
As a busy MD with little time on my hands, this was exactly the kind of help I needed to give me the confidence to grow VROOM Digital in the coming 12 months.
Team Productivity Assessment
first step team productivity collaboration
Why is this important?
Most business owners or managers are too busy to step back and take a look at the way their business is running.
This Team Productivity Assessment helps to identify areas for immediate improvement, and provides a starting point for prioritising issues.
The assessment can be done in a single morning (or two depending on team size) so can be done even when teams are busy.
You are not going to get less busy. Tackling productivity issues is paramount to growing your business.
- Team assessment (at your place of work, or do a group video call if you work remotely). I'll ask a lot of questions and take a lot of notes.
- A comprehensive report that will include recommendations for improvements that should be made, and why.
- A breakdown of the main issues for the team, and why
- An actionable list of issues to address, in order of priority
- A list of suggestions on how to address the main issues
visual shared understanding documentation efficiency
Why do I need this?
I know very few companies who have a good handle on their internal documentation. They have very few processes actually written down.
Yet, the companies who have good documentation credit a huge amount of their productivity and calm workplace to good documentation.
Getting started is always difficult. Modelling your processes is an excellent way to get input and buy-in from the whole team.
If you have legacy systems and processes, modleling is the first step towards modernising.
- An Event Storming Workshop for Modelling business processes. (see Resources for more on Event Storming)
- The workshop is not technical at all, is very hands-on, and uses stick notes and lots of wall space. The more that can participate the better. Sessions usually last 3-4 hours.
- I will facilitate the session, asking questions and helping agree on language choices.
- By the end of the session, you will have a shared visual understanding of your processes with opportunity to explore some processes further.
- This visual model is digitized for safe-keeping and used as a starting point for documentation.
Email Management Training
email inbox zero training
Why do I need this?
We all know people who have hundreds or thousands of unread emails sitting in their inbox.
For many, it gets on top of them and they are stressed even thinking about it. But the mails keep coming so they never get on top of it.
Important messages don't get replied to. Important tasks don't get done on time. Half your working day is spent reading or writing mail.
The average person can spend up to 20% of their day just searching for something they need, often in their Inbox.
- 1-1 or group sessions on how to manage your Inbox.
- Coaching on simple, effective habits that and systems for dealing with a busy Inbox.
- Coaching on how to triage your Inbox effectively, in one of three important ways.
- Team coaching on how to co-manage a shared responsibility inbox
Distributed or Remote Team Consultation
distributed remote virtual office working from home
Why do I need this?
More and more, today's employees are looking for freedom to work from home or remotely as much as possible.
For many managers, this presents a challenge. If this has not been offered before, how do you make it work?
Ignoring the problem means that good employees may ultimately leave. Not offering it to all staff creates a divide that affects the whole company.
Other companies have it forced on them when a good employee leaves the country but you don't want to lose them.
Having run a distributed and remote team previously, I learned a lot about what the differences and challenges are.
- Tool recommendations for what you will need to have in place to support communication, task management, document storage, and more.
- Tool configuration and setup, along with processes and reporting insights to help you operate as a distributed remote team.
- Management coaching on how to build the right culture to make a distributed team productive and happy.
Schedule a Call
Each week I try to make time to talk with startup founders who aren't yet ready to become a client, but who would like to talk. I got a lot of time and advice from some generous people and I'd like to return the favour.
If you're a founder who would like an informal, no strings attached chat, schedule a call below.️ If you are in a timezone that doesn't suit the available times, email me and I'll see what I can do.