Collaboration and teamwork are integral in today’s business environment. The evolving nature of remote and in-person work can make team building a challenge for even the most effective leaders. Teaming is an ongoing, action-oriented process of rapidly building and implementing successful teams.
The Five Phases of the Teaming for Success Model will enhance and establish a business culture where your teams thrive within your organization’s goals. From launching to renewing, Teaming in your organization will reinvent teamwork in groups of all sizes and disciplines.
>>Stewart Leadership’s Teaming for Success Model
Why are we together?
The first phase of successful teaming starts by answering the question, “why are we together?” In the beginning stages of building a team, it’s critical to develop a shared understanding of the team’s purpose and the context within which the team is operating.
Teams that do not understand why they are together can collapse into confusion. Establish the purpose and context by answering questions like:
- What are the results this team is expected to achieve?
- What mission is this team a part of?
- Who are the customers this team serves?
- How does this team fit into the larger structure of the organization?
Teams that have a shared sense of purpose, and that know where they fit in the organization, are better prepared to deliver results.
What are we doing?
Once the team understands why they are together, the work of aligning the team can begin. The aligning phase of the Teaming for Success Model covers plans, people and resources, and the structure of your team.
Taking the time to outline a clear and concise plan that covers the milestones that will guide the team provides team members with the information they need in order to fully understand their roles and contribute to the success of the team. Establish goals for the group and develop a clear roadmap to reach them.
Once your plan for achieving your goals has been codified, it’s time to define the structure of the team. Team members need to have clear roles and responsibilities in order to reach their full potential. Without clearly defined roles, team members may step on each other or critical work may not be completed as no one is responsible for it. Poorly defined roles can lead to competition and resentment within the team.
It is at this phase of team development, once the purpose has been identified and the plans and structure established, that the need for people and resources becomes clear. What skills and expertise do you need to have on the team in order to achieve your goals? How can you ensure representation from a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives in order to tap into the benefits of a diverse team?
How do we work together?
Alignment opens the door to trust, but how should you build your team to walk through it? The third phase of the model has been designed to help teams understand how they work together.
During this phase of team development, leaders must concern themselves with morale, communication, and operations. Trust requires a foundation where your teammates can rely on you, the system, and each other.
Consider these questions as you work to build trust within the team:
- How is information shared within the team?
- How committed is each team member to the team?
- What behaviors do we expect from each person on the team?
Developing trust within the team is critical if you want to create a high-performing team, and leaders must spend as much time here as necessary, and revisit this phase often, in order to build momentum.
How do we measure success?
As you have likely heard before, you cannot improve what you cannot measure!
Continued improvement is crucial, and you cannot achieve success without knowing what you are looking for. Identify the key performance indicators that will indicate if the team has accomplished what it has set out to achieve.
It’s important to not wait to measure success. Track progress toward goals and celebrate milestones along the way, and take the opportunity to revise plans or structure as needed in order to keep your team on target.
When developing a team, track the progress toward your goal and celebrate the milestones you cross along the way. The ability to measure your team’s progress will reinforce the work done in the aligning stage of teaming, thus promoting effective communication and boosting morale. When leading and managing multiple teams, it can be difficult to juggle multiple moving parts. Creating benchmarks for each team’s progress will save you time and make the team more effective when providing direction to continue down the road of success.
How do we keep going?
Keep up the momentum! Resist the temptation to think of your successes as a one-time event. This is where the true essence of teaming is manifest. It is an ongoing effort, a verb requiring constant action to align and adjust the actions of the team. and High-performance teams keep going and they adapt to meet the changing needs of the organization. As projects advance, the purpose, people, and resources of a team will change. People may leave the organization, or a new goal may require the expansion of the team.
Regularly reassess your team by evaluating each phase of team development. Keep the team motivated with new challenges and consistent feedback, and make it a habit to check in on the morale of your team members frequently.
Attending to the renewing phase of team development will ensure continued success and will build resilience so your team can weather the ups and downs of the journey.
Understanding and working through the five phases of the Teaming for Success Model not only facilitates the achievement of organizational goals, but it also makes the teaming process a rewarding experience for all involved thus helping to retain and attract the top talent you need.