Lead and Support Your Team Through Change

Everyone gets a time when they go through their role change. Each new role comes with new responsibilities and aspirations. This blog post will help you out to lead and support your team change.

A couple of months back, I was promoted as a Team lead in the web application development. It was a very challenging opportunity, especially after working as a test team lead and supporting development team for better product implementation.

With lots of dreams and plans, I accepted the opportunity, but I didn’t know that the road to fulfilling dreams was not that easy. Working in different teams has different challenges and each challenge teaches us something and as a leader, we need to find a way to make things work.

Following is the list of challenges I face and how did I overcome them. 1. Working Culture 2. Working Style 3. Team Motivation 4. Coordination 5. Continuous Improvement Plan

1. Working Culture: I worked with many companies and the biggest thing I learn from each of them is work and life balance.

Each team has their own working culture and each team members are so deep into it. It is very difficult to mould people from one work culture to another quickly.

For example, I do not love my any of the team members to work after office hours, scheduling work and adjusting priority can help the team to complete the task on time. To achieve this we need to make sure that all team members are in sync and constant communication.

But applying this culture was very difficult, especially when all team members are used to work overtime!! We initiated the changes with very simple steps 1. Announce what are you working on 2. Do not stick at any task for more than 15 minutes, if it is taking more time to ask for help 3. Daily task summary 4. At the end of the day (as soon as 9 hours are completed) ask team members to go home (Yes, this is annoying but it is good)

2. Working Style: After the work culture another big challenge as the working style.

My working style is to analyse the requirement functionally, evaluate it technically and assign it to the appropriate team member.

For other teams, it was to assign the task directly without assessing it properly. My concept was completely new to the team and it was always doubted.

We did multiple meetings to explain the how, what and why for the working style and task assignment.

This strategy has not only helped me to reduce the time frame to complete the products on time, but also reducing the overall implementation cost.

3. Team Motivation: I always accept the project that challenged me. But this was not the nature of other team members. Each new project comes with its own complexity.

It is important to make sure that the team is less stressful even if the project is with high complexity.

Your team is your responsibility. You need to make sure that they are comfortable working with you. You can not change everyone, you need to be flexible enough to be comfortable with them.

If the team is not performing well then it is not the team’s fault, it is purely your fault.

4. Coordination: Coordination and communication are the key elements of any successful team especially when you are handling multiple projects at the same time.

Each team members have their own identity, and you need to mould accordingly to match with them for the communication.

For example, some people do not like to get distracted while working so they may not use any IM or email system, in that case, I need to make sure that I go and talk to the team member and communicate the message.

5. Continuous Improvement Plan: If we do not have any improvement plan we can not grow. Define the team CIP and discuss with team members.

Give target to each member to improve skill set. This will help them to come out of their comfort zones and be a leader in their skill sets.

Leadership is all about putting yourself last and your team members first. If they are successful, you are successful. If they are winning, you are winning.