Team Effectiveness Assessments
To conduct Team Effectiveness Assessments, you will need Change Accelerator©. You will also need your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and One Page Strategy Map and Plan.
To Do List:
There are four actions for you and your team to complete:
- Watch four short videos about team development and organizational effectiveness.
- Download and review the Team Effectiveness Assessment tool from Change Accelerator.
- Develop a plan for deploying the Team Effectiveness Assessment tool, starting with strategic project and process improvement teams identified on the One Page Strategy Map and Plan.
- Keep track of and review assessment results to determine opportunities for continuously improving team effectiveness in your business or social enterprise.
Over the years, Mark Livingston has worked with many teams at all levels of large and small organizations. Some were more effective than others, and then there were a couple that … well, we won’t go into details.
Every one of these teams had one or more “issues” that needed to be addressed and resolved to improve team performance and effectiveness. Even if you think a team is functioning well, sustainable growth of 5–10% or more per year for ten years can and will throw you and your colleagues a few curves. And these positive and/or negative impacts will cascade down and throughout your business or social enterprise.
If you’re going to accelerate impact and navigate change effectively, then you must improve your team’s effectiveness first and then improve the effectiveness of each strategic project or process improvement team in your organization.
To ensure you and your team are on the same page regarding team effectiveness, schedule thirty minutes of individual study time to watch four short videos on this subject. All of these videos are from the free Alanis Business Academy Channel on YouTube:
We have used Tuchman’s Model for forty years and can verify these stages of team development. Your aim is to accelerate through the stages as quickly as possible, without taking shortcuts, to reach the performing stage. This a critical task for you and your colleagues if you’re going to accelerate the sustainable 10X impact promised to stakeholders, including women and HeForShe investors on your funding portal-of-choice.
A Failure to Launch
We have seen far too many project teams come together to work on One Page Strategy Map and Plan initiatives and waste time getting through the first three stages of Tuchman’s Model. It negatively impacts progress and makes it difficult to execute strategic priorities. We label this situation a “failure to launch.”
Also, be aware that when you add new individuals to a team that has progressed through the Tuchman Model, the team will “start over” through each of the four stages. This is not right or wrong, it just is. You and the strategic owners, project leads, and process improvement owners in your organization need to orient and bring new team members on board as quickly as possible to maintain team effectiveness. When this doesn’t happen, you lose time and momentum as the team works once again through the phases of forming (reforming), storming, norming, and performing.
You Must Address Team Dysfunction
Patrick Lencioni in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, identified major issues that teams must deal with, including (1) absence of trust, (2) fear of conflict, (3) lack of commitment, (4) avoidance of accountability, and (5) inattention to results.
To address these and other barriers, go to the Change Accelerator toolkit and download and review the Team Effectiveness Assessment tool. Note the twelve elements in the tool separated into four categories (Goals, Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal). In a way, you can look at the Team Effectiveness Assessment as a “competency model” describing the expectations and standards for high-performance. As 50% of performance problems inside teams and organizations occur because of a lack of clear expectations and standards, then the Team Effectiveness Assessment can light the path to high performance.
The twelve expectations and standards measured by the Team Effectiveness Assessment are:
- Purpose and Outcomes: We understand and agree on our project mission and the desired outcomes.
- Project Scope/Definition: We understand and agree on what is in/out of our project scope and tasks; the project scope is “set.”
- Customer’s Needs: We know who the project stakeholders are, what they require and why this project is needed.
- Goals and Deliverables: We have identified specific, measurable and prioritized project goals and deliverables, linked to our business goals.
- Roles and Responsibilities: We have defined and agreed on our roles and responsibilities and on the skills and resources the project team needs.
- Authority and Autonomy: Our team knows and has the degree of authority we need to meet our project mission.
- Critical Success Factors: We know are focusing on the key factors needed to meet the project goals and mission.
- Plans and Activities: We are following an effective game plan that includes the right tasks, clearly defined and assigned to the right people.
- Monitoring and Measures: We have an effective monitoring process and specific metrics linked to progress and goals.
- Schedule and Milestones: We have defined our project schedule and know what the key phases and milestones are.
- Team “Operating Agreement”: We have shared expectations and agreed upon and follow guidelines to how our team works together.
- Interpersonal: We have the necessary relationships, trust, openness, participation, and behaviors for a productive team.
Putting the Assessment into Action
To put the Team Effectiveness Assessment into action, meet with your entire team to discuss the assessment tool as well as the four videos. Facilitate a discussion about the pros and cons of using the Team Effectiveness Assessment with teams identified on the One Page Strategy Map and Plan.
Then, develop an Action Plan for deploying the Team Effectiveness Assessment, using your group as the “guinea pig.” Follow the steps in the assessment tool and use the 1–10 rating scale. Be sure to average the scores for each category. Use the Net Promoter® approach by segmenting scores into three groups: (1) scores of 9–10, (2) scores of 7–8, and (3) scores of 6 and below.
Focus on the reasons for the scores, especially if a category score is six or below. Identify any opportunities for improving team effectiveness and create an action plan using the template from Change Accelerator.
Next, discuss how you will deploy the Team Effectiveness Assessment across your organization, starting with teams identified on your One Page Strategy Map and Plan. This is where strategic owners or process owners need to think through the best time and place to introduce this assessment. Be sensitive to the fact that people interpret “assessment” in many different ways, sometimes negatively.
You will also need to develop a process for keeping track of Team Effectiveness Assessment results. The aim here is to track progress of teams toward the high end of the scale (scores of 9 and 10). This will be one indicator, along with results from Progress Reviews, Change Assessment Profiles, and Phase Health Checks, that your project teams are moving through the Tuchman Model and arriving safely at the performing stage.
We’d like to share one final tip with you on the topic of team effectiveness. Now and then, there is a team that just doesn’t click for one reason or another. The team can’t seem to move through the storming and norming phases and about the only thing they generate is “drama.” So, how do you handle this difficult situation?
In our experience, you need to carefully diagnosis the reason or reasons for why the team is not in alignment. Typically, it comes down to conflict and a lack of trust between the team and its leader or between two individuals on a team (maybe the team leader and a team member). You need to work very diligently through each of the twelve categories of the Assessment to determine the root cause or causes.
And, it may be the case that you just can’t build the trust or resolve the conflict. In this situation, you will need to take action to get the team back into alignment. And that may involve making a change in team membership. Hopefully, you can transfer that individual to another role in the organization. At other times, you may have to bite the bullet and make a hard decision about employment.
But before you go to DEFCON 5, use all of the tools in Change Accelerator to preserve the relationship and rebuild trust. It’s not impossible, but you will have to be patient and resolve not to give up on others (or yourself). In the end, you’ll have a stronger relationship and more reliable team who knows how to work through adversity. And yes, you will experience adversity during a ten-year journey of sustainable growth, change, and transformation. This is one thing you can count on!
Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:
- Do we all understand the Tuchman Team Development Model?
- What did we learn about our team’s level of effectiveness?
- Did we create a plan for conducting the Team Effectiveness Assessment with groups identified on the One Page Strategy Map and Plan?
It will take approximately 2–3 hours for you and your team to review the four videos and conduct a Team Effectiveness Assessment. It will take your strategic project and process improvement teams 1–2 hours per quarter to conduct Team Effectiveness Assessments.
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To learn more about team development and effectiveness, we recommend the following:
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
- Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen.
- Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen.
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.
- Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, & Working Smarter All Day Longby David Rock.
To learn more about business and management in general, we recommend the following:
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