How Teamwork Creates Success in Business and IT Solutions
Jeff Cornish | Senior Systems Architect
They say it takes a village to raise a child. That may be true somewhere, but I remember my wife and I doing most of the work raising our children. We worked as a team to teach them right from wrong.
We taught them so they would grow strong and confident, and provide strength and guidance for children of their own. That parenting lesson carries over to a lot of things in life. It seems that teamwork is the only way to accomplish anything in this age; and there are good reasons why this is so.
The Role of Teams
Let’s face it, the challenges of the modern world can be too complex, requiring a multitude of skillsets to get things done. When it comes to taking on these challenges, there are also the time factors. For instance, how can any single individual complete all the tasks necessary to fulfill a project on time, efficiently, and profitably from start to finish?
This includes the entire process from ideation to implementation, documentation and collection of remuneration. Without a team, progress would drastically slow due to serialization of workflow, i.e. one project at a time from start to finish before starting to look for the next one. In today’s fast-paced world, this just won’t cut it.
The Benefits of Teams
The most successful people in the world know how to build, develop, nurture and reward teams. Those that “tough it out alone” never rise to their full potential. They become embattled with the minute details of many disciplines and do not have the time to focus on strategy or vision. They become reactive instead of proactive, and they rarely see opportunities for improvement or advancement.
A team, on the other hand, provides many advantages over individuality such as:
…to name just a few of the benefits.
Diverse Talents and Skills Multiply the Power of Teams
Not everyone has a burning desire to hunt for new business or learn the technical details of fulfilling a project or collecting money after the work is done. That is where the diversity of a team comes into play.
Not only do diverse skillsets provide technical balance to a team, but different perspectives and ideas contribute to their success as well. Many times, I have been stumped by a problem only to have a teammate offer a simple solution based on their own experience.
Diversity is strength.
Flexibility and Redundancy Enable Adaptation and Fill Gaps
Flexibility and redundancy rely on cross training and, ofttimes, nested teams. Cross-training is a necessary requirement of a solid team. Planned and unplanned situations occur which tend to disrupt the normal flow of work.
Illness, accidents, personal time or your kid barfing on your shoes before an important meeting are all disruptive. Cross-training provides the flexibility to mitigate disruptions with a redundant solution in an alternative resource.
Always have a backup plan because things don’t always go according to the original plan.
Concurrency Provides Unity While Extending Reach and Capabilities
In addition to the primary team, there are other teams that can be called upon to fulfill certain functions that are not within the primary team’s skillset or ability to execute based on time constraints. I like to refer to them as nested teams.
TERACAI’s accounting department has teams for billing, ordering, ledger entries and other accounting functions. The accounting team is part of the larger TERACAI team that includes Sales, Pre-Sale Engineering, Post-Sale Implementation and Project Management. We all work together for a common goal.
Because team members focus on tasks they are best suited for, they can accommodate multiple similar tasks concurrently. For example, TERACAI’s Project Management Team has between sixty to seventy projects in process at the same time.
The Project Managers are not required to find the work, sell the project, configure the equipment or install the equipment. Their responsibility is to ensure that the right resources are assigned, work is scheduled, and communication is open. They become the central conduit for all communications related to a project and ensure progress continues and issues are documented and resolved.
Communication is key!
Accountability Reinforces Purpose and Vision
Every teammate has a responsibility to their team and each team member’s individual success adds to the cumulative success of the team. Team members who continually fail to meet their obligations will eventually be replaced.
The best teams provide support for their teammates but stop short of carrying them for extended periods of time. Everyone is accountable to the rest of the team, and when everyone does their work successfully, it builds camaraderie and a sense of gratification. We are social animals that benefit from accomplishing things together.
Yet, none of this is possible without good team leadership. Team leaders provide guidance, mentorship, methodology, arbitration and corrective action when necessary.
They can see the goals and the paths to accomplish them by working with qualified people on their team. They know when things are going right and can adjust and adapt when things are not going right.
Team leaders bind the group together with honesty, integrity and fairness to achieve common goals.
Many times, they don’t even have to be assigned as a team leader; they simply step up and take charge.
Camaraderie and Gratification Continue to Fuel Future Success
Here at TERACAI, we foster teams and team spirit. They are the secret to our consistently high customer ratings and manufacturer reviews.
From the Sales team that engages our customers to assist with their imperatives, to the Pre-Sales Engineering team that propose solutions and Statements of Work, to the Post-Sales Engineering team and Project Management team that ensure a successful project that is on time and on budget, to the Accounting team that does all that math stuff, we are all one team that strives to continue satisfying customers.
In fact, one of our mottos is, “Teamwork Creates Success.” And we live by it every day.
Feel free to experience the TERACAI team for yourself.