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How do you measure work coordination and follow ups with internal teams, customers, and project managers?

Work coordination is when you are coordinating the tasks so a deliverable is met. Follow up is asking for an update on where we are with the deliverable. Some examples of tasks are the following:

  • Assigning the work via action item
  • Manage request items
  • Analysis of project status
  • Update daily status of team by creating reports
  • I think that the question is very vague and will lead to unspecific broad answers. Could you please elaborate your question and explain what exactly is the problem with work coordination? – yegor256 May 4 '11 at 18:42
  • Work coordination of a project (Follow up and asking for an update on where we are with the deliverable, Assigning the work via action item #, Manage request items Analysis of project status Update daily status of team by creating reports). I need to measure those work or task but don't have a clue on what is the effective way to measure those for the project team members. – user614 May 4 '11 at 19:05
  • I suggest rewording the question to something like 'How do you track work and deliverables between different teams?' – Steve Roe May 4 '11 at 20:59
  • @user614 - It also helps if you can describe the specific problem that you are facing. What is the problem you're trying to solve? Why is it important that you measure this? What value does this bring? – jmort253 May 5 '11 at 3:40
  • @jmort253 - I need to measure the success rate as well as failure rate on how a project assistant does his job. A project assistant's responsibility is to coordinate the project tasks to different teams. I don't know how to come up with a metrics for the tasks that the associate are doing on a daily basis. – user614 May 5 '11 at 12:21
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Action items are a common way to track agreements between stakeholders. I see them tracked in excel spreadsheets. Treat an action item as an agreement between the actionee and receiver for a piece of work. An action item usually includes a actionee, a receiver, status, a due data and a short description of the work agreed to. The metric to watch is the number of open and closed items over time.

But an action item list is only a map. It is not the territory. To understand how well coordinated a team is I would consider how confident I feel that the different people understand each other's position and what is expected of them. In part, I would look at how well everyone is communicating. The trick is to determine this. One way to get there is to be engaged with all the people on the team, individually and in groups.

Signs of a lack of coordination among the team include people talking over one another, people repeating their position without listening to someone else, the need to repeat matters in coordination meetings, the need for too many coordination meetings...

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Whenever I measure the success of a project, I try to look at the actual success criteria of the project when determining how well it's going. Looking at how many items are coordinated does not seem like an accurate measurement of a project's success.

This would be like measuring a sales associate's success based on the number of phone numbers dialed from her phone instead of measuring her success based on what really matters, the number of sales that she closes.

Keep in mind that you're also dealing with an educated person who is likely to be intrinsically motivated and who wants to do a good job, or at least should want to do a good job.

My suggestion, unless you want people to game your system and create extra work to "increase coordination paths", is to look at what the end result is and measure success based on how close you are to the goal.

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