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How to Keep Team Members Focused on a Project

At the start of a project, staying committed to the overall goals of a project can be easy for a team. As the project progresses, however, a project manager may need to refocus team members' energies. After all, successful project completion requires a coordinated effort by all key participants.

As team members work hard to fulfill project obligations, their focus often shifts from accomplishing the project’s overall objectives to completing their individual assignments. In addition, other audiences who were initially very interested in the project’s results may become involved with other priorities and activities as the project continues (which means they likely lose interest and enthusiasm for your project).

To reinforce your team’s focus and interest, do the following:

  • Remind people of the value and importance of the project’s final results. Frequently discuss the benefits the organization will realize from your project’s final results as well as the individual benefits your team members will gain. People are more likely to work hard to successfully complete a project when they realize the benefits they’ll achieve by doing so.

  • Call your team together, and reaffirm your mutual commitment to bring the project to successful completion. Discuss why you feel the project is important, and describe your personal commitment to completing it successfully. Encourage other people to make similar commitments. People overcome obstacles and perform difficult assignments more effectively when they’re committed to succeed.

  • Monitor final activities closely, and give frequent feedback on performance to each team member. Set up frequent milestones and progress-reporting times with team members. Staying in close touch with team members provides you and them up-to-date info on how close you are to final closure; it also provides the opportunity to identify and deal with any issues and problems that may arise throughout the course of your project.

  • Be accessible to all team members. Make yourself available when team members want to confer with you. Consider having lunch periodically with them and letting them see you around their office area. Being accessible affirms your interest in and the importance of their work.

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