As you work on increasing your profits each month, you will start to identify many projects that need to be completed. Some will naturally belong to a certain employee; others will not. Those that do not should be assigned to a special project team.
The purpose of a special project action team is simply to improve the business. It is hard to improve your business amidst the chaos of running the day-to-day operations. Apple is a great example of the success of action-oriented teams that strive to improve business and develop new and innovative products. This is not accomplished by a mysterious spark of creative genius. They consistently make ideas happen by taking an organized approach to implementing their projects.
The keys to the special project action team’s success are:
- Identifying the projects that will have the most impact on the company’s success. This is obviously the owner’s job to start with. Later, as the team gets used to the idea, they will start to recommend projects themselves.
- Setting aside some time weekly or monthly for the project team to meet and work. This has to be scheduled to emphasize to your team the importance you attach to the projects chosen and your dedication to completing them.
- Choosing the right people to implement the project. This means those employees who can offer the most to the project. Another advantage of a team is the ability to include employees from different departments. This can help get the proper input, ideas, and skills needed to complete the project.
- Implementing a system to ensure action and completion. Delegation of tasks and responsibilities with consistent follow-up meetings, timelines, and deadlines are essential for a successful special project team.
I used special project teams to great success when I was the CFO of a local Coca-Cola bottling plant. For each of the six years I was there, our special project team worked on projects that increased the company’s profit by at least the total cost of my 30+ person department. In one year alone, we worked on projects that cut production costs by over $10 million.
Even if you are a solopreneur, you can have a special project team. Do the work yourself or better yet, hire a coach to help you. Either way, I can all but guarantee that the increase in profit from having a special project team will far exceed the associated costs.