Yep, I stayed up on Monday to watch Australia play Japan. I'm not much of a soccer fan, but I really enjoyed the game. But this post is not about that.
I believe that in order to have a productive team one thing is important:
Actually, it's not.
Lack of clear communication is the reason that things do not go as expected.
There are many techniques that can help communication and this post is about one: goals.
Goals allow all involved parties to understand where they are heading and what defines completion. Without goals you have no idea of direction or when you're done. Goals are very important.
Here's a simple plan:
1. define an overall goal that describes the desired result.
2. define sub goals that help you determine checkpoints to ensure that you're on the right path
3. measure progress against the goals
4. determine if the goals are sufficient to help you deliver, if not, define better goals
This way, you know what you're trying to achieve and you can determine how you're progressing.