September 17, 2012
You work in a place that promotes a “team-based” business environment. Well, heck. No one has ever sent you to a training to learn what to look for in a team, nor how to even define your group as something more than a loose collection of people with the same employer in common.
Consider groups or teams working in one of three dimensions: task, people, or process, or T-P-P.
Task: what the group is working on. This is often a measurable and visible product. At the macro level, it may be a project outcome, but be aware of the micro level as well, which would be what they are talking about in a meeting or what an agenda item outcome may be.
People: how the group is interacting to get the task accomplished. A little more difficult to measure, the people portion of a team’s progress should have a nice balance of some collaborative energy, shared leadership, and a little creative conflict here and there. If you are a people person, you will be able to gauge this progress somewhat innately, but still … harder to measure.
Process: the process that the group is taking to move through their tasks. This may look like systematic tools, or agendas that are well-followed (you hope). It is essentially and predicable path that the group may take to make progress. What you want to avoid is random approaches and loss of momentum by not following a system.
Your goal? Look for any imbalances. If you see too much of any one push, it’ll mean the benefits of the other 2 dimensions are at risk of being lost. Voila! You have a team.