Team Effectiveness

27 de Jan de 2013
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
Team Effectiveness
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Team Effectiveness

Notas do Editor

  1. Presented By: Team “A” Agnes Bielecka, Latrina L. Brunson, and Renee Simon University of Phoenix February 27, 2012
  2. Overview: - Introduction - Learning Team Characteristics - Clear Expectations - Communication Strategies - Communication Mediums - Time Management Strategies - Conflict Management - Feedback Strategies - Conclusion - References
  3. Working on teams can be an excellent learning experience because of the different team members skills and capabilities they bring to the team. This presentation discusses the different strategies a team should employ to become an effective team. An effective team starts with the identification of team characteristics. Identifying the team characteristics considered to be predictive of team success is essential in the formation of an effective team. Clear expectations are also important in the success of a team and will help a team understand the roles each team member has and their expectations in the team environment. Developing effective communication strategies provide the team with a method for maintaining a level of communication that leads toward a successful completion. The time management strategies help the team members understand their requirements of the timelines, and work progress. Time management helps a team move at a pace that results in success and is an essential part of an effective team. Managing conflict is essential in maintaining an effective team and establishing conflict management tools at the start of the team will help the team members overcome any conflicts that may arise on the team. Feedback contributes to the teams effectiveness because feedback helps the individual team members understand areas in which they can improve on the team through group and individual contributions.
  4. Learning team characteristics are comprised of small groups of three to six members. Research with Learning Teams suggests that they are more productive with four to five members. Smaller teams are usually not as resourceful, sometimes failing to fully meet the requirements of the team assignment, whereas larger teams are too cumbersome in size to coordinate effectively (University of Phoenix, 2012).   The team is initially steered by a team charter that clearly defines unity of purpose and meaningful objectives for each group member. The team charter also addresses any possible conflicts or deficiencies the group may encounter throughout the course. In essence, the team charter is a contractual agreement between all members clearly outlining the mechanics, norms, expectations, and ground rules for the team (Macgregor, Katzenbach, & Smith, n.d.).   Aligned with the team charter, the team sets measurable performance goals that are concrete and demanding. The working atmosphere of a team should portray an informal, comfortable, and relaxed ambiance that is tension-free. Virtually all members are required to participate without fear of feeling dismissed or unheard. It is expected that all members listen to and respect one another’s opinions and ideas.
  5. Teams are designed to come together to meet a common goal. During roundtable discussions disagreements may transpire pertaining to measures each believes that should be taken to complete the group’s projects. Disagreements should not be viewed as negative but as a positive effort that represents a genuine difference of opinion that should be acknowledged by the group until a consensus is met and not simply overridden by the action of a majority ruling (Macgregor, Katzenbach, & Smith, n.d.).   Each member is responsible for adhering to the key components of the team by being timely, prepared, and sure to complete tasks as assigned and on time. Criticism should be often, candid, and fairly easy with intentions to proactively avoid any obstacles the team may face. Leadership roles should rotate within the group to expose each member to leadership activities and various levels of involvement that gets the job done. Through preparation, effective communication, and unified participation, effective teams are destined for success when meeting the expectations and goals that are clearly defined to them.
  6. Clear expectations defines a clear purpose of the vision, mission, and tasks of the team that clearly identifies the action plan accepted by all members of the team (Sparks, 2002). Clear expectations provide a clear direction and common understanding of the goals (Pope, 1996, p. 58). Roles and work assignment expectations are clear by each team member.   Clear expectations are like task descriptions that outline a solid foundation for each assigned task setting a clear understanding, up front, for what the expectations are for each person who holds that task. Clear expectations define the essential functions of the tasks that need to be performed (Grensing-Pophal, 2000, p. 3-4).   Clear expectations of performance goals and objectives depict meaningful achievements that are realistic and measureable that each member can commit themselves to (Macgregor, Katzenbach, & Smith, n.d.).  
  7. Open lines of communication encourages team members to be more involved in the process. The more team members equally are involved in the work the more the team members can begin to develop trust and respect with each other (Parker, 2003). When team members ideas, suggestions, and opinions are valued the team member’s become more productive in the team which results in a higher success (Parker, 2003). Constant flow of communication among team members using any of the communication mediums enhances a teams effectiveness because the team members have clearer expectations of what is needed to be accomplished. Keeping teammates informed of progress helps the team stay on track for meeting goals and timelines (Parker, 2003). Team member disagreements will arise; however, these disagreements can foster new ideas and encourage team members to collaborate on ideas and further their thinking. However, for the disagreement to be positive the team members need to avoid making negative comments or interactions and use positive professional dialogue in the discussions (Parker, 2003). Communication barriers are common in many team environments; however, effective teams overcome these barriers by employing the communication strategies outline above. The barriers include team members lack of appreciation of other ideas, different functions of the team clashing, and members who have different goals or expectations (Parker, 2003). These barriers can be overcome by the team establishing set goals across all functions, encouraging the functions to ensure communications are clear, and establishing a high level of professionalism in the communications.
  8. In a team environment the members have various methods of communication medium’s to choose from. Depending on the type of team the members will choose the most effective method for the team to communicate and have successful project completions. Team meetings are essential for team members to collaborate and communicate; however, not all team meetings have to be conducted in a face-to-face capacity. Face-to-face is one of the most effective methods for communication because it allows the team members to communicate simultaneously (Weimann, Hinz, Scott, & Pollock, 2010). Team members can gauge each others body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice in face-to-to face communications to help the team members to understand what is communicated. In face-to-face communications the team members can provide immediate feedback, convey emotion, and convey the messages that can result in stronger team communication and understanding (Weimann, et al., 2010). The other mediums e-mail, phone, conference calls, instant messaging, and texting do provide the team members with easy access of communication; however, the team members have to ensure the message is clear, concise, and understood to be effective (Weimann, et al., 2010). The tone of the messages need to remain professional and respectful to ensure a break in communication does not occur. Response time in e-mail communication can prove to be a problem and if e-mail is a medium used in team communications the team needs to set a rule for response times from e-mail communications. Allowing longer response times in e-mail communication can defuse any frustrations that may arise from a team member not receiving an immediate response from a communication (Weimann, et al., 2010). Establishing communication rules is important in developing an effective team.
  9. Time Management Strategies help the team to be successful, and complete and submit it in time (Bryant and Albring, 2006) They also serve the purpose of minimizing the pressure of deadline approaching and the feeling of completing very little ; such a feeling is called “environmental stress” (Bryant & Aldbring, 2006, p. 254) The following strategies help with ensuring the timely task completion: establish timelines and milestones to achieve the goal that will help keep track of work completed and work outstanding to date (Bryant & Albring, 2006)
  10. Among the time management strategies, agreeing on timeline and milestones and monitoring progress of the project seem to be effective. Bryant and Albring (2006) suggest that establishing deadlines and interim checkpoints at the beginning of the project ensures goal achievement. Timely delivering of the finished product is also ethical and enhances professional image of the team members (Bryant & Albring, 2006)
  11. Monitoring progress of the team work is another time management strategy. It is best practice to routinely remind the members of the timelines in reference to the work completed and work remaining proportion (De Jong & Elfring, 2010). The strategy of monitoring progress of the team project contributes to ensuring team efficiency by focusing on timelines (De Jong & Elfring, 2010). Also, through diligent monitoring, team members have a chance to re-evaluate the distribution of work load among the members, and perhaps allow re-distribution, or offer support, should inequitable distribution be encountered (De Jong & Elfring, 2010).
  12. Not all conflicts in a team result in a negative team experience or the team not meeting its goals. Some conflict in teams can encourage team members to push beyond their own limitations and think at a higher level. Team members who disagree with each other do create conflict; however, this conflict can foster new ideas if correctly managed. When working in a diverse team differences of opinions are more likely to happen and if managed correctly can provide better results for the team (Parker, 2003). In a diverse team, the members come to the team with varying levels of expectations, training, and skills. If not managed correctly, the conflict in a diverse team, or any team, can become fatal to the success of the team. Team training can help the team members understand the conflict will happen but that the conflict is valued (Parker, 2003). Communication is important in managing conflict because team members must be open to new ideas, develop listening skills, questioning skills, and collaboration skills (Parker, 2003). Creating opportunities for team members in conflict to work on projects together for a longer time can dissolve the conflict issues because the team members begin to look at each other as teammates who has something useful to offer (Parker, 2003).
  13. In team projects, Alden (2011) recommends two-fold feedback that evaluates a) the final project quality and b) the participation degree of each member of the team. A combined team effort contributes to much higher performance result than that of individual members, and produces high quality product; hence, it really adds to the effectiveness of the team (De Jong & Elfring, 2010). Each team member’s contribution, however, needs to be recognized, especially, when the work was not evenly shared (Alden, 2011). Alden (2011) recommends a “shared team assessment” (p. 6), a “peer assessment of team member contributions” (p. 9), and a “self-assessment” feedback strategies to be applied to a team work. The “shared team assessment” is designed to evaluate the final product and does not include individual work completed by each member (p. 6). The “peer assessment of team member contributions” happens when all team members evaluate one another on the criterion of contributing individually to the project (Alden, 2011, p. 9). Such aspects of involvement as “cooperation, communications, enthusiasm, organization, contribution” can be included in the evaluation sheet for providing peer feedback to the team members (Alden, 2011, p. 10). The “self-assessment” is used to stimulate members to self-reflect back on their individual contribution to the project and to the team functioning (Alden, 2011, p. 12).
  14. Learning teams have dynamic characteristics comprised of team members who equally participate to meet a common goal. These characteristics are steered by a team charter that clearly defines expectations and roles for each team member. Members are encouraged to be supportive, communicate effectively, and provide constructive criticism as deemed necessary. Each characteristic is heavily weighed on trust and mutual respect for one another. As all members are cognizant of these characteristics, it is expected that all members to meet the requirements of the course and each task assigned.   Clear expectations clearly define the group’s purpose, essential functions, roles, and work assignments. Objectives should be identified and designed to have measurable and realistic goals that can be met. Expectations should be outlined and fully understood by each member, providing that a consensus have been established for the goals set for the team. The communication strategies discussed in this presentation are essential for a team to be successful. The communication strategies that surround the concept of encouraging open communication and valuing team member’s ideas, suggestion, and opinions is the core to creating an effective team (Parker, 2003). Communication barriers can hinder a team’s performance and overcoming the barriers is important in the process of creating an effective team (Parker, 2003). Teams that encourage positive communication and strive to overcome the barriers have a higher opportunity to achieve success (Parker, 2003). If managed correctly, productive conflict can help a team to gain better results (Parker, 2003). Productive conflict can encourage team members to listen to their teammate’s ideas and collaborate to create a better end product (Parker, 2003). If not managed effectively, conflict can be fatal to a team’s success. Team training and the creation of opportunities can help team members productively use conflict (Parker, 2003). Time management strategies are instrumental in ensuring team’s effectiveness. Time management strategies help the team members stay on task throughout the project, and ensure timely completion of each project component by designated team members. Establishing deadlines and milestones throughout the timeline of the project, as well as implementing an ongoing monitoring routine, helps team members to contribute to the project regularly and ensures that the project moves forward. Implementing ongoing feedback on the quality of the product and on individual members’ degree of involvement in the project recognizes the team effort as well as each member’s time and effort devoted to the task. The “shared-team assessment” evaluating final product, “peer assessment”, evaluating each member’s contribution to the work on the project, and “self-assessment”, a reflection-like exercise, are the techniques known to be utilized to enhance team dynamics and its effectiveness (Alden, 2011, p. 6).  
  15.   Alden, J. (2011). Assessment of individual student performance in online team projects. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15 (3), 5-20. Retrieved from Bryant, S.M. & Albring, S.M. (2006). Effective team building: guidance for accounting educators. Issues in Accounting Education, 21 (3), 241-265, Retrieved from De Jong, B. A. & Elfring, T. (2010). How does trust affect the performance of ongoing teams? The mediating role of reflexivity, monitoring, and effort. Academy of Management Journal, 53 (3), 535-549. doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2010.51468649 Grensing-Pophal, L. (2000) Clear expectations. Credit Union Management, 23 (10), p. 32-36. ProQuest ID No. 227747819 Retrieved from Katzenbach, J. R., MacGregor, D., & Smith, D. K. (n.d.). Characteristics of effective teams. Retrieved from Pope, Sara. (1996). The power of guidelines, structure, and clear goals. The Journal for Quality and Participation . Association of Quality and Participation. Accession No. 01343674. Retrieved from University of Phoenix. (2004). Learning Team Handbook. A resource from your learning team toolkit. Retrieved from
  16. TEAM EFFECTIVENESS: Presented By: Team “A” Agnes Bielecka, Latrina L. Brunson, and Renee Simon University of Phoenix February 27, 2012