Team empowerment and collaboration are at the forefront of our minds these days. But when we talk about tools that help teams work on projects together, we sometimes forget that the same platforms play a critical role in team leadership.
In fact, as much as we would like to imagine genuinely empowered teams where each team member contributes to the project, a good team needs someone who provides with a sense of direction and ensures that everyone knows what to do and when to do it. That is the role of the team leader.
In this article, I wanted to show you how Atlassian’s Jira helps team leaders not only organize tasks inside projects but also become better leaders for their team.
1. Define roles and responsibilities
The first step to successful team leadership lies in the proper definition of the different roles and responsibilities of team members. By doing that, you can clarify your team interactions for greater collaboration and productivity.
Defining roles and responsibilities of individual team members helps everyone understand each member’s contribution to the team and learn what they need to be successful. Moreover, if you find yourself struggling with team balance, it’s essential that you approach the problem of roles – every if that’s something you’ve done already.
Organize a workshop and give each team member a sheet with the following questions:
- What is your role?
- What are the most critical 2-3 tasks you work on?
- What support and resources do you need that you aren’t currently receiving?
If your team is large, consider grouping people with similar roles to have them fill out forms together. By pinning down roles and responsibilities and reflecting them in your Jira workflows, you will boost the productivity of your team.
For more about the process, have a look at this immensely helpful Team Playbook from Atlassian.
2. Develop a workflow
The second step to excellent team management is developing a clear workflow for the entire team to follow. A workflow is basically a process through which a task goes on its way to completion. One of the most straightforward workflows is composed of stages such as: to do, in progress, and done.
Naturally, when crafting your workflow, you need to make sure that it matches the actual processes of your team. By developing a workflow, you will simplify team interactions, improve collaboration, and ensure that everyone is on the same page during project development. A workflow is a valuable point of reference for every team member – and for team leaders to assess their work.
3. Create a Kanban board
Another smart strategy you can take advantage of in Jira is Kanban boards. A Kanban board is a board composed of different columns that directly reflect your workflow. For example, if your process is comprised of stages: to do, in progress, and done, your Kanban board will be composed of three columns with the same statuses.
By dragging and dropping tasks from one column to another, team members can easily visualize the project’s progress. One glance at the Kanban board is enough for all stakeholders to understand where the project is standing and how many tasks are still left until its completion.
Moreover, you can benefit from a Kanban board as a team leader because it introduces a level of transparency to your team. Have a look guide making team workflow to learn why transparency is so critical to team collaboration. By boosting team transparency, team leaders will make sure that the assessment process is fair and individual team members are rewarded for their productivity for a reason.
4. Promote greater collaboration
Team leaders can use Jira capabilities to boost team collaboration in many different ways. By organizing work in tasks that are represented by individual issues, you reduce the complexity of the project and make it understandable to your team. Individual team members will have a full view into how their work contributes to the project and become more motivated.
Moreover, knowledge sharing and exchanging information is made it really simple in Jira. All it takes is adding a comment with an @mention to notify the right person and get the insight we need. You can be sure that information never gets lost in emails but is kept in a single place, helping team members to collaborate and share knowledge on tasks.
5. Communicate with team members and empower them
A great team leader is someone who knows how to communicate with team members and empower them to boost their intrinsic motivation and help them develop a sense of ownership of the work.
As a team leader, you probably have many tasks on your plate and might often find it difficult to keep up with issues your team might be going through. By using Jira and allowing team members to reach out to you with @mentions or assigning issues to you whenever they need help, you open the communication line.
That type of open-door policy and willingness to support team members is essential to building a productive team. Moreover, by having all the tasks managed in a single place, you’ll be making sure that the team takes full responsibility for their productivity. Show that you trust them to do that – that’s how you empower your and help each team member become more passionate about what they do.
Would you like to learn more about how Jira helps in team leadership?
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I help companies deliver amazing results through innovative leadership with the support of the best technologies available on the market.