January 30, 2018
Project Management Office Meeting Recap: Building Effective Teams
Have you ever been a part of an ineffective team? I'm sure we can all think of a time, weather in our professional careers or growing up, that we were part of a team that was not effective. We may think that these individuals just didn't get along or work well together. The qualities that make a team ineffective seem to be more memorable than those that make an effective team.
At last Friday's Project Management Office meeting, we had a great open discussion surrounding Building Effective Teams. A huge thank you to Amy Bofenkamp, Director Business Integration, and Jim Maahs, Sr. Project Manager, for leading this collaborative session and sharing their experiences with us.
So, what are the qualities that make an effective team? Per our discussion, we found that effective teams share qualities amongst others such as trust and respect, a sense of belonging, clear expectations, and the use of team assessments.
Recognizing strengths and weaknesses of a team are key components to being successful. Understanding your personal DiSC profile can help an individual learn their own personality and why they respond to certain situation the way they do. Team skills assessments will help members of the team find who they can go to in order to fill their weaknesses. We discussed a skills matrix model that has been implemented by Amy and Jim at Medica and is proven effective for their teams. You can find the skills matrix example Amy and Jim discussed here.
Once an effective team has been established, it takes care and feeding to maintain the team. Both the company and employer need to commit to continuous examination and evaluations. Adopting retrospectives can help teams and individuals reflect on iterations and identify future improvements. Conflict is something that teams should not be afraid to face. As a team, you can learn and grow from conflict and encourage each other to listen to all points of view. As the team grows, if possible, hire new members as a team to ensure a proper fit.
Being part of an effective team doesn't always mean you are working with your best friends. Maintaining an effective team requires everyone to have an attitude of professionalism and mutual respect. Always assuming positive intent in the workplace will lead to greater success individually and as a team. Remember, what works for one team, won't necessarily work for another team.
What qualities do you think make an effective team?