Team Development

From apppm
Revision as of 06:46, 4 March 2019 by Sarantis (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Developed by Sarantis Pavlidis



There are various definitions of what a team is about. However, one of the most well-known is the one given by Katzenbach and Smith (1993) [1] according to which the team is a small number of people with complementary skills - talents dedicated to a common purpose, a set of performance objectives and an approach for which are mutually responsible. This definition is an extension of the definition given by Adair (1986) [2] as the responsibility of the members added at the latest's data. An important feature of the teams added by Mankin, Cohen and Bikson (1996) [3] is the interdependence of individual's activities, as the work of each member is dependent on the work of at least some other's members. Larson and LaFasto (1989) [4] also emphasized that the core element of the team is also the coordination of the activities of its members, which is necessary to achieve the objectives. Even earlier, Francis and Young (1979) [5] had spoken of an active set of people who are dedicated to achieving common goals, working successfully together and producing high quality results whilst taking pleasure through it. An advanced definition is also given by Kur (1996) [6] who examined the team as an open, goal-oriented , socio-technical system in a tension state between change and stability.

In addition, Team Development is a method for developing a project team.[7] It refers to a process and activities for improving team performance. This article focuses on people perspective as an aspect of project management and provides an overview of the stages of team development. Design of Team Development and how to manage team conflicts are also mentioned. Members of a project team can use the current article to identify the team structure, to understand the stages of developing a team or to deepen their knowledge of the subject. The model can be used in any industry where people are involved to perform teamwork in a project. For example in constructions, information technology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering etc. Effective collaboration is crucial to the success of a project.

Successful team

There are some objective criteria that characterize a successful team which works effectively and efficiently. There are eleven points which are consist of such a team [8] :

  • Relationship and work environment
  • Participation of members
  • Understand goals, accept and commit to them
  • Communication and information sharing
  • Addressing conflicts and disputes
  • Decision making
  • Evaluation of member's performance
  • Expression of emotions
  • Job sharing
  • Leadership
  • Knowledge of Operations

Benefits of using Teams

Reconciliation of employee's skills, qualifications and experience is necessary for a wider and more effectively confrontation of each problem, making the right decisions and find the optimal solutions for the business. As examined by Scholtes et al (1998) [9], the teams have advantages over individuals when:

  • the issue is more complex
  • creativity is required
  • the path is not clear
  • a more efficient use use of resources is required
  • quick learning is necessary
  • strong binding is desired
  • the process is cross-functional

The most frequently reported benefits for businesses using teams are [10] :

  • Increase Productivity
  • Improving communication and collaboration while removing corresponding barriers
  • Increase speed
  • Enhance creativity and innovation
  • Increasing employee dedication and satisfaction
  • Strengthening of customer-focused culture
  • Increasing organizational adaptability and flexibility
  • Improvements to quality
  • Decentralize responsibilities and create more flexible and level hierarchical structures.

These benefits, and especially the latter, are the result of the empowerment of the teams, the process through which they are given resources, power, information and the responsibility that a task requires [11].

Design and Development of Teams

Stages of Team Development

One factor that can particularly affect the effectiveness of a team is its maturity. In correspondence with the mature person, which evolves, improves and gains confidence and stability over time, so the teams mature at different rates. As most bibliographic sources [6], [1], [12], [13], [14] agree, teams are being developed in stages. These stages are determined according to the "Form-Storm-Norm-Perform" (FSNP model) introduced by Bennis & Stepard and Tuckman in 1965 [15], [16] and describing the phases that a group passes from the moment of its creation until it matures in a high-performance group. The period following the formation of a team is called a stage of Forming. During this time the team members first come into contact with the rules and procedures of its operation and start exploring the ways in which they will cooperate better with each other. At this stage, most discussions relate to the team's goals and the possible roles that members will take. People are usually proud of their choice, enthusiasm for the new form of work,but also confusion, anxiety and uncertainty about the future of the effort. A heavy weight falls on the person who will be appointed as team leader, who is invited to promote familiarity among members, to clarify their questions, to encourage their participation in the first tasks and to provide the necessary information for the beginning. As a logic, the team's performance is low and all jobs are running at a slow pace. While the first stage rarely gives rise to disagreements, when objectives, targets, rules and roles begin to determine each subsequent move, the first problems are raised. The term storm used for this second stage with the meaning of crisis, intense disorder implying its difficulty. As individuals realize that the whole process is not that simple, they are overwhelmed by feelings of doubt or even jealousy that lead to reactions to leadership, tasks and priorities. Objectives and rules are being reviewed. The possible refusal to compromise with faces and situations may lead to the formation of subgroups - clusters and the effort of the most powerful to impose their ideas. The role of leader at this stage should be balanced with an emphasis on the principle of equivalence of members because the continuation of conflicts in terms of power and duties may result from negative psychology to disengagement and disastrous for the team's future. The overall performance of the team remains low. Once the first conflicts are successfully handled, the team moves to the next stage where the group's norms are developed, ie the fundamentals, the bases, the limits of its operation. This is the stage of norming. Eliminating reactions and achieving consensus on issues and rules creates feelings of trust, consistency and optimism among members. Replacing competitive relationships with cooperative relationships has an immediate positive impact on team performance as it allows individuals to use their time and energy constructively. At this stage, the leader should pay attention to the benefit of member's knowledge, abilities and skills by encouraging their active participation in all activities of the team. The final stage of the maturing of the teams is characterized by their high performance, which also owes its name (Performing). Members have assimilated the way the team operates and have accepted the strengths and weaknesses of their colleagues. Communication and cooperation between them has been optimized, and the division of responsibilities is more flexible than ever. Disagreements only exist on important issues and contribute to a more comprehensive response. The team is now able to diagnose and resolve problems, choose and implement changes. The duration and intensity of each phase varies from team to team. The latter stage is rarely achieved, as it requires smart individuals and a charismatic leader with experience in teamwork. However, the understanding of these phases makes it easier for the members to comprehend the individual difficulties and to be more attentive to their reactions.

Elements of enhancing the performance of teams

Apart for the right planning, there are various practices that teams should adopt in their operation for their development and ensuring high performance.


  1. 1.0 1.1 , Katzenbach J., Smith D., 1993, The Wisdom of Teams, Harvard Business School Press, United States of America, McKinsy & Company, Inc
  2. , Adair, J., 1986, Effective Team building, Gower, Aldershot
  3. , Mankin D., Cohen S., Bikson T., 1996, Teams & Technology, Harvard Business School Press, United States of America
  4. , Larson, C., LaFasto, F., 1989, Teamwork, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA
  5. , Francis, D., Young D., 1979, Improving Work Groups. A Practical Manual for Teambuilding, University Associates, La Jolla, CA
  6. 6.0 6.1 , Kur, E., 1996 The faces model of high performing team development, Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 17, 1, 32-41
  7. Page 319, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition (2017) - Project Management Institute
  8. Thomas L. Quick,1992, "Successful Team Building" (The WorkSmart series), American Management Association, New York, AMACON.
  9. Scholtes P., Joiner B., Streibel B., 2003, The Team Handbook, Third Edition, Oriel Incorporated
  10. Recardo R., Wade D., 1996, Teams: Who needs them and why, Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas
  11. Fisher K., 1993, Leading self-directed work teams: A guide to developing new team leadership skills, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
  12. Rickards T.-Moger S., 1999, Handbook for Creative Leaders, Gower Publishing, Aldershot
  13. Robbins H.-Finley M., 1996, Why Teams don't Work. What Went Wrong and How to Make it Right, Onion Publishing Group
  14. Stott K.-Walker A., 1995 Teams, Teamwork & Teambuilding, Prentice-Hall, London
  15. Bennis W.G.-Shepard H.S., 1965: "A theory of Group Development", Human Relations
  16. Tuckman B. W., "Developmental sequence in small groups", Psychological Bulletin, 1965
Personal tools