What is a Team?
Meaning of a Team: – A Team is a collection of individuals organized to accomplish a common purpose, who are interdependent, and who can be identified as a team by themselves and supervisors. Teams exist within a larger organization and interact with other teams and the organization. Teams are a way for an organization to gather input from members and provide members of the organization with a sense of participation in the pursuit of organizational goals. In addition, Teams allows organizations flexibility in assigning members to projects and allows for the formation of cross-functional groups. There are seven types of teams: – Project Teams, Operational Teams, Virtual Teams, Self-Managed Teams, Problem Solving Teams, Informal Teams and Leadership Teams.
What are the 5 phases of teamwork?
Here are five phases of teamwork to consider when working in teams: –
- Forming Stage: – Forming is the stage when team members become familiar with each other. The training phase, also called the forming phase, is the initial phase of building teams and is the phase where co-workers meet. They also assess group work and the basic rules that apply to that task. During this stage, team members build their sense of security among new colleagues. This stage can occur in orientations, when new employees become acquainted for the first time. Everyone at this level is usually very polite and ready to go along with suggestions given by other team members. Team members try to avoid making enemies and are often more patient with each other than they might be later in the process.
- Storming Stage: – The most difficult and important stage is to go through the storming phase. It is a period marked by conflict and competition with the emergence of individual personalities. The storming phase is often where conflict arises. This occurs because employees begin communicating and expressing differing points of view. Team members may disagree on goals, strategy, and responsibilities. In this phase the performance of the team can actually decrease as energy is put into unproductive activities. In this phase, employees may form subgroups or sub-teams with employees who share their values. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, acknowledge individual differences, and work through conflicting views on team tasks and goals. Teams can get stuck in this phase. Failure to address conflicts can result in long-term problems.
- Norming/Normalization Stage: – If the teams go through a storming phase, the conflict is resolved and some degree of unity emerges. This occurs because team members form and respect boundaries. Here, the leader of the group emerges naturally if upper management doesn’t assign one. In the ideal phase, consensus develops as to who the leader or leaders are, and the roles of the individual member. Interpersonal differences begin to settle, and a sense of unity and unity emerges. Team performance increases during this phase as members learn to collaborate and begin to focus on the team’s goals. However, reconciliation is uncertain, and the team could be back in storm if disagreements re-emerge.
- Performing Stage: – In the performance phase, consensus and collaboration is well established and the team is mature, organized and working well. In this phase, team members have clearly established rules and boundaries which allow them to work cohesively. Employees work toward the responsibilities assigned and ask questions to clarify their tasks. Employees experience increased motivation to work and have strong productivity. There is a clear and stable structure, and the members are committed to the mission of the team. Problems and conflicts still arise, but they are dealt with constructively. When conflict arises, employees know how to work toward unified solutions. Team members usually have a strong focus and purpose in this phase when their goals align with their co-workers. The team is focused on problem solving and meeting team goals.
- Adjourning Stage: – The dissolution phase, also called the adjourning phase, usually involves a decrease in motivation as the project nears completion.There is an emphasis on completing the final tasks and documenting the effort and results. As the workload is reduced, individual members may be reassigned to other teams, and the team disbands. The team may regret the ending, so formal acceptance of the task and the success of the team can be helpful. If the team is a standing committee with ongoing responsibility, members may be replaced by new ones and the team may go back to a formation or storming phase and repeat the development process.
What are the Types of Teams in an organization?
Here are seven teamwork examples to consider which style is most effective for your unique team dynamic: –
- Project Teams: – A project team represents a group of individuals with shared goals and strategies. Tasks in a project team are specifically structured with stipulated deadlines, roles and responsibilities, etc. The members of a project team are usually gathered to work on a specific project or objective. The members may be from the same department or from different departments depending on the requirements of the project. Project teams are usually brought together for a specific time period and eventually disbanded after the project is completed. Team members are under the supervision of a project manager and report to him. Efficient functioning of the project team requires smooth collaboration and communication among the team members. Project teams are further divided into four categories, all of which are listed below with a brief description.
- Functional Teams: – Functional teams consist of a group of individuals with specific skills and education. Functional teams include members of the same department. When working within these teams, you share different responsibilities than other members. For example, the marketing team is concerned with brand promotion and awareness; The sales team is responsible for driving revenue, and so on. All the members of the functional team work towards the achievement of a common goal associated with the organization’s goal. This team is usually permanent and managed by a manager who leads the projects. All team members report to the manager.
- Cross-Functional Team: – Cross-functional teams, as the name suggests, are teams whose members are selected from different departments for projects that require diverse skills. Cross-functional teams share similarities with functional teams, with the primary difference being that team members come from various departments. Teams tend to work together on a specific project and often split up after the project is completed. Cross-functional teams have been gaining popularity in recent years but one study reported that 75% of these teams are bad.
- Matrix Team: – Matrix team works according to matrix management approach where team members report to more than one boss i.e., two boss metrics. Working in a Matrix team requires a lot of patience as individuals have to deal with two bosses, which can be cumbersome. Also, it can create confusion in the team and create difficulty in the decision-making process.
- Contract Team: – Contract teams are the last of the project teams. Contract teams are assembled by outsourcing resources. The company signs a contract with the team for a specific project. Once the project is complete, the organization can disband the team. Contract teams often work remotely which makes it difficult for the PM to lead the team. He has to communicate with all the team members and monitor their performance to ensure the team is on track.
- Operational Teams: –The operational team in an organization is responsible for the smooth functioning of other teams. The members of this team support other teams in carrying out their responsibilities efficiently. They ensure that there is no hindrance in the progress of a project and things are completed on time. In addition, members of an operational team have specified roles and responsibilities. Therefore, they can have their own projects as well. The operations team manages and optimizes work in an organization to ensure profitability. It supports other teams to help them achieve their goals successfully.
- Virtual Teams: – Virtual teams do not interact in real life and rely on different tools to collaborate in their work. These teams often have members from different geographic regions. Virtual teams are the future of the business world. People are looking for opportunities to work from home because of the work-life balance it offers. As a result of remote work, virtual teams are formed. These teams bring together creative individuals from different parts of the world, resulting in better ideas and more creativity. In addition, remote working also increases productivity rates, with a survey showing that 77% of individuals feel more productive while working from home.
- Self-Managed Teams: – Self-managed teams have no managers or leaders. Team members are themselves responsible for decisions and actions. They self-identify and define roles and responsibilities, work together to resolve issues, and set expectations. Self-managed teams have more autonomy and are therefore more flexible. Furthermore, since they define their own rules, they can manage time and tasks as per their choice. The team members of self-managed teams are the most empowered. Each person brings their own skills to the table and adds to the overall efficiency of the team. Also, it has been reported that self-managed teams can be 15-20% more productive than other types of teams. Team members in a self-managed team have more room for improvement and continually upgrade their skills.
- Problem Solving Teams: – Problem-solving teams are temporarily assembled. They are usually brought together in case of crisis or unplanned event. The purpose of such a team is to solve the problem and get the company out of trouble. The team consists of leaders and team members from different departments who sit together to work out problem solving in the smooth functioning of an organization. The output of these teams strengthens the structure of the organization and reduces the risk of potential issues.
- Informal Teams: – Unlike other teams, informal teams are not created by the company but by the employees. These teams are not under the supervision of a project manager. As informal teams are formed by employees, they communicate more, have better productivity rates, and are more efficient. Individuals in an informal team share common interests and are better connected. They share a strong bond which makes work more fun for them.
- Leadership Teams: – Leadership teams consist of leaders from different departments who work together to devise new strategies to work better. Leadership team members are skilled and experienced individuals. Each person brings their expertiseto the fore, and overall, they create a plan for the betterment of the company.