Partners for Organizational Success, LLC

Partners for Organizational Success, LLC

Together we build solutions to guide change into the future

Steps to Forming a Team

Although there is no cookbook approach to forming a team, certain important steps need to be satisfied to help ensure success. Appropriate team members need to be selected. The team will need to institute team values, establish a common purpose, set specific goals, establish a common work process, and develop mutual accountability.

Steps to Forming a Team

Team Forming SkillsThe team members are selected for their skill and skill potential. Skill types include technical expertise, decision-making ability, leadership qualities, and interpersonal traits. Although it is important to ensure that the appropriate skill sets are met, it is not critical to ensure that all skill sets are completely satisfied. As the team grows and matures, the members will compensate for weak or missing skills.

The team members must establish team values. The team puts these values into action through clear rules of behavior. The values ensure that each team member remains respectful of the others as individuals. The values underlie the trust and respect necessary for the team members to interact in a conflictive or frenzied environment.

An effective team shares a common purpose. The organizational leaders should establish the overall purpose, expectations, and performance challenges of the team. These attributes should include a substantial reason for the team’s existence to ensure that the team realizes the importance of its challenge. This framework focuses the team on the organizational requirements. The team, however, must interpret this framework into their customized purpose. Their purpose must apply to the team members both as individuals and as part of the team. The team should constantly revisit and adjust their common purpose throughout their existence.

Team Forming GoalsThe team must determine specific goals that relate directly to their common purpose. These goals establish team products that are different from individual or broader organizational products. Team goals motivate and focus the members on their purpose, providing a focal point for their energies and efforts. Team member efforts should concentrate on achieving the goals instead of political or personal motivations.

Once the team establishes the goals, it should develop the work processes sufficient to achieve the goals. These processes range from the rules for working together to the technical processes required to produce the product or service. The members should agree on issues such as meeting mechanics, tasks and roles including leadership and administration of production or service, and communication of ideas, problems, and decisions.

Functioning TeamMutual accountability follows. The team’s purpose provides the reason and commitment for the members to exist. The team’s goals provide the structure for mutual accountability. The work processes provide the mechanism to coalesce the members into a functioning team.

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Team Steps