Small teams need goals if they want to have any hope of staying together as one unit.

Why Even Small Teams Need Goals

Posted on May 29th, 2017 by Steffen

Small Teams Need Goals to Succeed

When working with a small group it can get very easy to get overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks that constantly seem to keep piling up. Since the team is small, it is common for each person to do all sorts of different, non related tasks in order to focus on getting everything done with sanity intact. While this wild eyed method can work for a time, what eventually ends up happening is that the team gets so tangled with each other and so far away from the big picture, that they end up focusing far too much on the minutia of staying afloat rather than moving to higher and higher levels.

This is why goal setting is so important. It is the remedy to wasted energy. Any good project manager can tell you that one of the best ways to keep a team on task is to have plenty of milestones breaking up work periods along with clear and concrete goals to keep all team members looking the same direction.

Goal setting is a team sport

Regardless of the project or company, success will be measured by how singularly your group moves together. For reference, look no further than film. The Marvel Studios blockbuster, Iron Man 3 took over 3000 people working together in order to make that singular film experience. Most small films still require at least 500 different people working for months toward a making a single, high quality 90 to 120 minutes experience. In order for films to be made with any level of success, everyone involved from wardrobe and set design, to sound engineering and marketing must be aware of the release date, the overall feel of the film, the vision of the director, and the expectations of the studio. In other words, everyone must understand what they’re trying to make.

This is no different for small teams, and is one of the benefits of being smaller rather than large. Teams, like businesses, need a purpose to work together and build. It’s the goals they agree to reach that provide that purpose. No matter how small your team is or how unimportant certain members may seem in the overall scheme of the business, the more people that know the goals and understand the purpose, the more likely those team members are to work toward that purpose. Their ideas will better fit that mandate, the processes they create will become more streamlined, and team morale will increase with every milestone reached.

Setting goals together helps everyone take ownership over the work they’re putting, and with smaller teams, every ounce of motivation is essential.

Assigning Roles

Like a film production, everyone has a part to play. No matter what sort of project it is, you’ll need some sort of division of labor in order to stay out of each other’s way, and the more concrete you can be about each others responsibilities, the faster and farther you can move.

The following is a list of one such way to split up a team into its most necessary parts around the tenants of Planning, Creating, and Testing.

1. The Project Manager: At the top of the list is the Project Manager, designated to set the schedule and sign off on the goals. Making sure someone is responsible for keeping track of the tasks leading to the big picture allows other members to focus more strongly on their individual tasks.

2. The Creative: This member focuses on generating ideas and producing any required content. Putting someone in charge of these elements can help cul disagreements about the look and feel of a given project and gives someone final say over any disputes.

3. The Quality Assurance: This member makes sure everything is working the way that it should. Whatever it is, it needs to be edited, tested, and made ready for whomever outside the team will be seeing it. Having someone that focuses on testing or editing can allow other members to stay forward thinking on planning and creating.

Regardless of how many people there are on a team, splitting your thinking and duties into these three avenues is a grand way to lessen bleed between tasks, simplify responsibilities, and set the proper goals for each segment. When the team is small, goals are paramount as a working path toward creating the big picture.