Many professionals today struggle with having their employees assigned to multiple projects and teams simultaneously. It’s a practice called “multi-teaming”, and though it can occasionally create difficulties within companies, it’s becoming more and more common.
To be sure, there are several benefits. Not only does it increase efficiency—a shared employee is rarely without work—multi-teaming also facilitates knowledge sharing across the company. It’s important to consider the drawbacks as well. Companies risk weakening group cohesion and exhausting employees who struggle to manage their commitment to multiple assignments. Faltering on one project can bring delays and problems into a completely different project.
So, how can you as a professional manage the problems of multi-teaming for your employees? As a team lead, you should make the most of the trend by crafting an environment where cross-collaborating employees can be more productive. This means acknowledging the competing priorities of different teams and making it easy to coordinate across them. Having a good Jira project management tool, like Tempo Planner, is another piece of the puzzle.
Here are a few more tips, inspired by an article in the Harvard Business Review:
1) Team members may not necessarily realize how much their colleagues are working. Publicly call attention to the achievements of your team to make their hard work more evident to everyone.
2) Make sure to discuss competing priorities together. By anticipating rush periods collectively, you can determine which deadlines are viable and which ones need to be reassessed.
3) Model and encourage an open line of communication so team members will discuss any issues openly and productively as soon as they arise.
4) Make sure those teams in the company that don’t have multi-teaming members get information about what’s happening in other departments.
5) Look at how teams are connected to anticipate where delays may be transmitted from one to the other. Create some slack to absorb any shocks in the arrangement—you might have some employees work on projects that won’t be compromised if they turn their attention elsewhere, for example.
Need help managing your resources? Our Jira project management tool, Tempo Planner, can help you monitor the allocation of your employees and keep on top of capacity. Tempo offers a one-month three trial, take advantage of it today!