How Can Independents Work Together??

Really!!!  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  We each have tasks to do and we’re the best there is!  In fact, I’ve worked in enough modules that I can tell you how to do your module too! (Not true, added for emphasis.)  But we do know quite a bit about the PeopleSoft world and we’ve done enough projects to know what works and what doesn’t.  The problem is, everyone of us is right; which means, there are thousands of ways to do a project.

I love the relationship model that tells us that every time groups of people get together, we have a process to go through before collective work will happen.

Step 1 – Forming.  We will each be individuals adding individual effort, but slowing down the process, because we are doing it individually.  Sure we now know each other, but there’s no order, just titles.  “And I don’t like the way he smiles.”  “Why won’t anyone listen and act on what I’m saying?”  “I heard a rumor that such and such really hit a home run at XYZ last year.”  We all are wearing our best behavior, smiling and nodding at everything said.

Step 2 – Storming.  Now we’re getting somewhere! This is where all hell breaks loose (quietly, of course). The project manager enforces his style, the client can’t stand the person they have to work with, heads and styles collide, emails fly back an forth as we try to move forward.  Lot’s of grumpy talk and short tempers.  And we are all wearing our best smiles, trying to move forward.

Step 3 – Norming.  Nirvana! Nope, everything isn’t perfect, but we know how to work with each other.  We can pass ideas to those who listen, we know who to avoid when they’re busy.  We interact on a professional and personal level.  We may not like each other, but we know how to work together.

All project teams go through this same interaction every time members are added into the mix.  The secret is to understand where you are in the process and work to the next phase.  As independents we have a unique experience to share with each other.  We’ve worked with more people in more varied environments than most corporate consultants.  We should know people interaction best and should be more adept at moving in and out of groups than anyone else.  Projects benefit from our ability to help random individuals perform together as a team.  Let’s help them reach their goals.

But you have to have a world you can live in
Not a world where all the hope is gone
And as long as we are here together
We must build a home for the free

If this sparks any thoughts, I'd love to listen! Please Comment...