Tag Archives: team building

Launching Your “A” Team

Team Launch Checklist

Our previous post focused on building a high performing team, so it seemed logical to follow-up with a post about effectively launching a team. Getting project teams off to a good start helps them engage in the project and in one another, leading to better results..

The first step involves investing time and effort up front on clarifying goals, behavior expectations and project scope. These steps can quickly pay dividends as teams move forward, as they help to build a strong foundation in support of more productive efforts. They can also prevent conflict, which plagues many teams.

Additional key steps for successfully launching a high-performing team include:

  • Scoping the project
  • Flushing out the team charter
  • Establishing key performance measures
  • Developing the project plan
  • Establishing expected deliverables

Building your “A” Team

Our previous post referenced the proverbial “A Team,” and identified the “A” as standing for agility.

But along with being agile, the ability to build high performing teams can enable an organization to make significant gains that go beyond those typically achieved by individuals. As the saying goes, “TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.”

Consider that it is nearly impossible for a single person to possess the same amount of knowledge and experience that a high performing team possesses, as the exchange of ideas alone leads to new thinking and innovation. In addition, the involvement of multiple people in decision-making typically strengthens commitment levels, and a team environment can provide mutual support and a sense of belonging.

However, virtually every organization we’ve encountered struggles with developing teams.

Many teams are dysfunctional; they take too long to accomplish tasks, the work is filled with errors and waste, the costs are excessive and turf wars abound.

Some key steps for developing high performing teams include:

  • Providing effective sponsorship
  • Developing strong team leaders and facilitators
  • Developing alignment around a common purpose
  • Developing and applying consistent task and project management
  • Open and consistent communication
  • Teaching people how to conduct productive meetings
  • Setting measurable performance targets
  • Identifying the right process/game plan to achieve results
  • Holding people mutually accountable for results

How to Develop High-Performing Teams

team2In a recent post we identified eight attributes that are associated with high-performing teams, and noted how team improvement projects typically out-perform individual efforts.

Consider that it is nearly impossible for a single person to possess the same amount of knowledge and experience that a high performing team possesses.  In addition, the involvement of multiple people in decision-making and implementation strengthens commitment levels, provides mutual support and promotes a sense of belonging.

But most organizations struggle with developing teams. Many teams are dysfunctional; they take too long to accomplish tasks, the work is filled with errors and waste, the costs are excessive and turf wars abound.

Some of the skills and behaviors that can help an organization develop high-performing teams include:

  • Strong, committed leadership
  • Alignment around a common purpose
  • Diligent task and project management
  • Effective communication and meeting management
  • Clear and measurable performance targets
  • The right process to achieve results
  • Hold people mutually accountable for activity and results