How Do I Set Up An Effective Team?

If you have responsibility for teams and their performance it can sometimes be a lonely experience especially if you are not physically present in the team for some, or any, of the length of the project.

The following points might help you to decide on the structure and format of the team thereby giving you some assurance that things have a good chance of going to plan.

  1. Group Cohesiveness and Performance.
    • Membership – is the team either too big or too small to get the job done? An ideal size would be between 8 and 10 members.
    • Compatibility of members – it doesn’t need to be a permanently happy group but the skills of those present should deliver a good outcome.
    • Performance of group members – keep a keen eye to see who is performing and who lagging behind. Take remedial action if needed!
  2. The Work Environment.
    • What exactly is the task set? Can you describe what it is to someone with limited or no knowledge of the subject matter? I you cannot do this you do not have a clear direction!
    • What is the physical setting for the work? Is this helpful to getting the job done or does it limit what people can do?
    • How will team members communicate with each other? This is a critical question if managing a virtual team of specialists who will probably never meet.
    • What technology is available, is it relevant, does it work and will it deliver an outcome that we would see as success?
  1. Organisational Questions.
    • Do the arrangements for management and leadership mean that the team and project will succeed or do the structures actually get in the way?
    • Does the activity conform to relevant HR policies and procedures? If not stop now and reshuffle the deck!
    • How do you rate the chances of success and how does that look as the project develops? Again, keep a close eye on performance!
    • How would you evaluate any external threats to the success of the team and the project? Can they be removed/mitigated/ignored?

Good Luck!

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