Friday, March 20, 2009

Team Development - Volunteer and Assigned

As I observe the "volunteer" teams at work, I remember how fortunate I am that my team members are "assigned" by someone to help accomplish the goal. This is based on their talents, knowledge, relation to the goal, etc. I lead ~12 project teams per year with ~6 going at any one time. They typically range in size from 6 to 12 members.

I am thankful because the "assigned" team members are trained regarding team stages, tools, roles, responsibilities, etc. Also, though they have unique ideas and motivations, overall the goal is fairly clear and common. Finally, they are familiar with the company culture and can not run at the first sign of "storming". Even with all this going for us, it is difficult to get teams all the way to the "performing" stage before the project is completed. (ie we execute in the prior stages)

"Performing" is when Productivity, Creativity, Enjoyment, etc really increase. Thus it is the goal of most great team leads... The energy of it empowers and thrills us...

With this in mind, I think it would help volunteers to study up on Team Development and Execution. (see below) Many people join teams with no idea what to expect and become frustrated by the process, execution, progress, direction, behavior other team members, etc. By understanding best practices you will learn that many of the difficulties are normal and required.

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform (Wikipedia)
Team Training (NY)

More Later. Thoughts ?

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