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How to Get Your Projects Done on Time With a Small Team

  • Small teams offer many benefits when working to complete a project
  • However, the limited number of employees can also create certain difficulties
  • Shared goals, tech options, and other ways to improve productivity

Whether you’re a diminutive startup or an established company with dozens of employees, you’ll likely rely on small teams instead of large groups to accomplish projects. Smaller groups offer benefits such as trust and rapport, rapid turnaround times, increased innovation, and better accountability.

Small teams allow companies to group employees based on their specialties or bring together a diverse set of professions to accomplish a project. Large enterprises can usually break down major initiatives into individual goals that can be addressed by small teams. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, famously established a rule in the company’s early days, declaring that any team that couldn’t be sustained by two pizzas was too big.

Yet the limited number of employees also means that small teams can face greater stress and struggle to complete a project on time. These tips can help you realize the benefits of working with a small group while minimizing the drawbacks.

Have a plan

You should have a clear idea of what you’d like to accomplish, including the benchmarks and deadlines you’ll need to meet along the way. Create a clear set of priorities and determine how each team member will contribute to them. While it can be beneficial to allow some flexibility in this process, there should also be a team leader who can delegate tasks and responsibilities to avoid replicated efforts, disconnects, or other inefficiencies.

Create shared goals

There may be opportunities to concentrate all of your team’s efforts on accomplishing certain tasks. This approach allows you to complete the tasks more quickly and efficiently than if the responsibility fell to one or two team members, and also offers more of a sense of accomplishment and teamwork once the project has been successfully completed.

Eliminate points of failure

If a team member assigned a critical task falls ill or is otherwise unable to contribute, it could easily delay the progress of the entire team. Identify any weaknesses and address them. You might cross-train employees to be proficient in multiple areas to ensure that a backup will always be available.

Let tech help

See what technologies are available to help streamline your team’s operations. Project management software, instant messaging, and other services allow for easy collaboration and updates without getting bogged down in meetings, e-mails, or phone calls. You may also be able to automate some processes to free up time for more essential work.

Make meetings worthwhile

Seek input from the team before arranging a meeting to make sure you address the issues of greatest importance. Have at least one meeting-free day per week to allow people to dedicate all of their energies to advancing the project.

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