Managing teams performance
Factors that Impact Team Performance
There is no question about the importance of teams in organizations today that's why as a manager to be aware of managing teams performance has never been as important as it is now, the following factors can have a direct impact on team performance:
• Clarity of the team’s goals in terms of expectations and priorities;
• How the team is working (its processes) in terms of cohesion, ability to handle internal conflict and pressure, and relationships with other teams;
• The extent to which the team is capable of managing itself – setting goals and priorities and monitoring performance;
• The quality of leadership – even self-managed teams need a sense of direction, which they cannot necessarily generate by themselves;
• The level of skill possessed by individual team members (including multi-skilling);
• The systems and resources support available to the team.
Setting work objectives
Work objectives for teams are set in much the same way as individual objectives. They will be based on an analysis of the purpose of the team and its accountabilities for achieving results. Targets and standards of performance should be discussed and agreed by the team as a whole. These may specify what individual members are expected to contribute.
Project teams will agree project plans that define what has to be done, who does it, the standards expected and the timescale.
Setting process objectives
Process objectives are also best defined by the team getting together and agreeing how they should conduct themselves as a team, under headings such as:
• Interpersonal relationships;
• The quality of participation and collaborative effort and decision-making;
• The team’s relationships with internal and external customers;
• The capacity of the team to plan and control its activities;
• The ability of the team and its members to adapt to new demands and situations;
• The flexibility with which the team operates;
• The effectiveness with which individual skills are used;
• The quality of communication within the team and between the team and other teams or individuals.
Team performance reviews
Team performance review meetings analyse and assess feedback and control information on their joint achievements against objectives and project plans. The agenda for such meetings could be as follows:
1. General feedback review:
• progress of the team as a whole;
• problems encountered by the team that have caused difficulties or hampered progress;
• helps and hindrances to the operation of the team.
2. Work reviews:
• how well the team has functioned;
• review of the individual contribution made by each team member – ie peer review;
• discussion of any new problems encountered by individual team members.
3. Group problem-solving:
• analysis of reasons for any shortfalls or other problems;
• agreement of what needs to be done to solve them and prevent their reoccurrence.
4. Update objectives:
• review of new requirements, opportunities or threats;
• amendment and updating of objectives and project plans.
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