How to use your team strategy document externally

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In my previous article, I describe a practical way to create a team strategy document using the input of the team.  I recommend the team strategy document (example here) have the following elements:

–The team name

–Who is on the team

–What the team is trying to accomplish/what it produces

–Guiding principles and expectations

–Metrics that rate the productivity and quality of the team

–Business metrics that the team could affect

–The plan for how to meet the metrics that rate the productivity of the team

Now that you have the document, here’s what you do with it.  In today’s post, I’ll focus on the external uses:

1.       Use it as a basis to share with your partner teams and customers

No team works in a vacuum, so if you are armed with a strategy, you can share your strategy with the teams you need to work with to be successful, either the partner teams you receive work from and hand off to, or customers that you provide deliverables to.  Of course you need to customize it for the team you’re meeting with.  Sharing your team strategy will help your partner teams understand what your priorities are, what you can do to help them, and what your team capabilities are.

2.       Use it as a basis for prioritizing work

Now that you have the team strategy in place, any work that comes or opportunities that present themselves should somehow fit within that strategy.  Evaluate the opportunities against the strategy, as well as the reactive or legacy work that comes in.  Many times a meeting invitation comes in where team members with legacy relationships naturally seem to require that they be involved.  So the team member feels compelled to attend the meeting, even if it has nothing to do with the team strategy.  As a manager, you have the ability to say, “No, you don’t have to attend that meeting and take on action items from it because I need you to work on the areas that are our team priorities.”  It gives you a basis to keep your team focused on the priorities that you and your team agreed to.

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