While traveling abroad, I saw an interesting sign in the restroom. The request was to keep the facilities as “neat as you would like them.” At the end of the note, it said, “Thank you for your collaboration.” In spite of the possible error on the sign, we all know about the power of collaboration.
Companies that embrace the power of collaboration realize that the best way to solve complex problems is to build cohesive teams made up of members with different skills and expertise. Getting teams to work productively is at the heart of project management. Developing the structure for teams to work at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness is at the heart of productive teams.
No matter what type of team you belong to, it’s challenging to keep everyone focused and productive. This is particularly true on project teams. The secret to managing successful team dynamics is to keep the practices simple as possible.
Before introducing healthy team dynamics, it’s important to understand the difference between teams and work groups. Is your group a real team, a work group, or something in between? How you approach the development of your team or group will differ depending on the nature of the group, the duration of the project, the project scope, and the targeted project outcomes.
First and foremost, don’t confuse a group with a team. All teams are groups, but not all groups in an organization are teams.
The difference between a team and a group is that members of a team are interdendent for overall performance. In other words, a team is created when members are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. A group, on the other hand, consists of individual contributors each vying for individual outcomes.
What do you have?
Lisa DiTullio, Founder, Your Project Office, www.yourprojectoffice.com. Author, Project Team Dynamics: Enhancing Performance, Improving Results, ©Management Concepts