Effective Team and Performance Management

Introduction

Effective team and performance management is a pivotal instrument that impacts positively on project accomplishment, as well as a team’s productivity (Aguhar, 2003). Participation in a project as a team is not always very easy whenever effective strategies are not implemented. At the same time, the team’s success is efficient whenever there is ground for changes that may occur at any instance in the conduction of projects. Generally, projects are ample rationales that provide a ground for learning and experience gain. Reflection is also considered very important in the conduction of any project because it creates a mind of phenomenon consideration among the project undertakers (Evans, 2007). The discussion in this report presents a reflection on a critical experience of our small team that carried out a project on Mount Everest. The four-step model/framework illustrated by Christopher Johns’ in his theoretical research studies forms the fundament of this study. This is inclusive of factors that are influential on the kind of project, the experience of a team, reflections, learning, and alternative course of action. Again, the Tuckman’s Model that focuses on the development of a group into an effective development entity forms the basis of the group’s operations as well as the expected success (Tuckman, 2008).

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The team constituted four members, and the responsibility charged with it is the development of response in regards to successful project conduction that would take place at Mount Everest. The team is to be taken to the mountain’s peak both for experience as well as to develop reporting skills. The team we had can be classified as an effective team since it was equipped with self-management skills. Team task and participation is a grand requirement in order that the team performs in accordance with the formal requirements. Nevertheless, some sound skills that would have played a very crucial role were found missing. The performance of the teams is always influenced by their preparedness and willingness to take up the challenging tasks in addition to personality and the quality of the present membership (Nambiar, 2010). The application of professional and interpersonal skills played a vital role in the development of the response. The presentation of the team role and its reception by the team members also influenced the team’s effectiveness as well as general performance (Nambiar, 2010).

Factors influencing the performance of the team

A number of factors were found to enthusiastically influence the team’s effectiveness as well as the performance in the responsibility charged with the team. The team dynamics in regards to the aspiration to handle the project ahead are influenced by social, psychological, and time factors. The success is ideally reliant on the time that will be allocated for the project by the small group. Commitment is very crucial when it comes to teamwork and willingness for group participation is very important in the project realms (Evans, 2007). Communication is also a pivotal factor that determines the results of a group project (Rosensweig and Joyce, 1993). Indeed, communication breakdown has seen the collapse of many businesses, teams, and any kind of a comprehensive group that is on a particular purpose. The quality of the task assigned to the group was also a determinant of the nature of the group’s performance. The attainment of the goals of the project was also influenced by the cohesiveness of the members, and the criteria of roles assigned to the team members, which was done in accordance with each person’s professional qualifications. The assignment of the tasks also reflected the team roles as well as learning skills (Rosensweig and Joyce, 1993).

A common collaborative process was a key tool to the accomplishment of the required process, which we had to adopt at the onset of the project. The definition of the process that the team was to undergo was contained in the corporate process. In addition, the team relationship in regards to the criteria of working together was duly established prior to the project. The collaborative process constituted a vast collection of constructive items, which included the best methodologies that can help solve upcoming troubles during the project. The team members also found it ample to spell on the ways in which each team member’s differences can be respected. The methods of duties execution by each group member were also clearly defined as well as pointing out the approach of communication between members. Moreover, the building of trust and conflict avoidance was emphasized by the team in order to maintain ample relationships with one another (Rosensweig and Joyce, 1993).

Experience

Our team had a very overwhelming experience in the conduction of the assigned exercise, though the invasion by some unstructured problems was found so thrilling. First, the fact that we worked in a group clothed each one of us with a wondrous participatory experience. The group company offered us a chance that may only happen once in a lifetime. The project of the team worked in accordance with the original requirements to a certain degree; however, the existing drawbacks affected the rate of goal achievement in the process. We found some of the earlier-defined aspects failing to work according to the divine planning at the inception of the whole idea. Some drastic failures called for alternative actions in order to enhance the continuity of the initiated task. Moreover, constant performance management was utilized as a driver to the understanding of the expectations of the project by the team members (Wheelan, 2009).

The factors that influenced the average performance of the team included the adaptation problems at the beginning. Being the first time to work in such a group with no clear familiarity with each other, it proved very hard for the members to be easily acquainted with each other. The inadequacy of task-driven leadership affected the team at the beginning of the project. In addition, some challenges that the team faced were not easy to overcome, owing to the individual differences in offering opinions. Some communication barriers seemed to have overtaken the group at the initial stages due to the ignorance on how to start the demanding process. The invention of alternative task management methodologies proved hard since some of the originally proposed ones could not work. The differences in team members’ comprehension of distinct phenomena was also an outstanding problem in the initial stages, though this became a success-driving tool at the end of the project (Brodie, 2011).

On the other hand, the team’s ability to conduct the task was influenced by the flexibility of each member to adopt and work in accordance with newly implemented ideas. The willingness and commitment of the members at the onset of the task was a rationale for the team’s effectiveness. The team also adapted very quickly to each other, which provided some decent solutions to the communication barriers that afflicted the group at the beginning of the project. The team was also highly enthusiastic to achieve the intended goals. The development of new ideas was also important to the team’s achievement as they had agreed on innovations at the inception of everything and this was a rationale to the participation (Smither, 2009).

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Personal and social attributes are crucial factors that also contributed to the great team’s experience. The overall team’s performance was also affected by the influence of the member’s personality. The allocation of duties in regards to the profession as well as personality played a key role in determining the performance of the group. This enhanced the team’s utilization of every member’s capability for the improvement of the effectiveness of the team. Minimal conflicts were experienced with the comprehension of the member’s distinct personality types and effectiveness achieved credit. The flexibility to consider the perspectives of each of the members as well as the comprehension of the team’s dynamics was also a rationale for experience acquirement. The members also socialized as they executed their responsibilities, which accelerated the ultimate performance of the team in addition to information and skills sharing. The experience was soundly good since the challenges never drove us into giving up on the planned goals (Larson and LaFasto, 1989).

Reflection

I participated as the logistics coordinator in the team, where I was charged with the role of ensuring that the continuity of the task was correctly done. The team selected me due to my possession of managerial skills and enthusiasm in project handling. Though very challenging to stand in such a position, the ultimate reflection was soundly positive and I am glad to have been in such a crucial position. The main responsibility I was charged with was to ensure that the team achieves the originally spelled goals. The recording of the so far achieved logistics was also an important area of my participation to ensure no tasks were left untracked. I held our mission and goals record in order to also dictate the methodology of the task handling to the other members. The recording and documentation of the team’s minutes and their progress was my role as well as the logistics coordinator. The role of monitoring the implementation of the proposed strategies for our achievement of the goals was also my role to ensure the smooth running of the task (Kichaven, 2005). The table below shows some of the values and beliefs that make teams be effective.

Example of team beliefs, values, and resulting norms
Source: Kohn, S. and O’Connell, V., 2009. 6 Habits of Highly Effective Teams. NY: Career Press, p. 94.

I also handled the task of spelling the step-by-step achievement of the team, and providence of the guidance of how we were to accomplish the set goals in order. The leader of the team was very determined to achieve the defined goals, which made me develop morale for serving in the position. This was very crucial in order to ensure comprehensiveness in tackling our divine responsibilities. The identification of the rampant challenges hindering the performance and the effectiveness of the team called out for my action in order to alert them whenever an alternative course of action. I also participated in the decision-making processes whenever it came to the logistics areas as well as the innovation of new project handling strategies. As a participant in the team, I also ensured my due commitment in regard to the practice of ample communication strategies and excellent execution of the duties charged with me. I was also in charge of accounting for member’s participatory levels and evaluating their professionalism in task handling. Sharing my thoughts as a member of the team was also an invaluable responsibility within the team. Indeed, serving as a logistics coordinator developed a managerial character in me for future actions (Heller, 2006).

Whenever problems arose among the group, I expressed my feelings to the members to make them understand that things are not quite okay. Asking open queries to all team members was also a way in which I tried to solve any challenge arising among the members. However, I faced hardships since it was not easy for me to tolerate how some people were handling their tasks. The discussions in any meeting were sometimes overwhelming when conflicts arose. Identification of any project-related problem sometimes occurred too late for rectification and I had to be rebuked for poor performance. It was fair as well as challenging to handle the task of a logistics coordinator in teamwork (Evans, 2007).

One factor that made my leadership of the group fails was the failure to understand differences in individual members’ behavior in the group. According to Harmony Explorer, an online human resource assessment center article (2010), team building and harmony depends on the level of behavioral understanding that members of a team have among each other, given that personalities differ; this can be illustrated through a radial graph, which represents behavior parameters such as leadership, communication, empathy, and diligence among others as shown below.

parameters such as leadership, communication, empathy, and diligence among

Alternative courses of action

The effectiveness of the team lies in the hearts of the participants in any form of a project (Kohn and O’Connell, 2009). The experience equipped me with an open mind that can come up with new strategies that would ensure good performance. The role of a logistics overseer highly reflects on the commitment, efficacy, as well as the overall team’s performance. The first alternative course of action I would apply is being assertive in the achievement of the team’s objectives. Sometimes I lost hope and that things might not work. Secondly, I realized that I was too dictating on matters concerning the execution of duties, and in this, I needed to treat every team member gently in order to boost their morale for the project. The humility and gentleness aspects are ample in the enhancement of better communication strategies and the spirit of cooperation gets a boost (Dyer and Dyer, 2007).

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Thirdly, a group requires the strategic implementation of excellent planning methods. These include the documentation processes that I was in charge of. Therefore higher documentation intelligence was ample for the accomplishment of the project. The requirement of emotional intelligence was highly evident in that task. Emotional intelligence is useful in perceiving, assimilating, as well as expressing emotions into thoughts. It also enables one to regulate his emotions in regard to others and equips one with self-control virtue. The reflection taught me that I would have aided in addressing the importance of emotional intelligence even to the other team members, which would have solved our intrapersonal differences. Commensurately, I realized that I could have approached conflict resolutions in a better way since I used to become hot-tempered. The best approaches to solve conflicts involve the utilization of wisdom, where team members have to learn that conflicts are a normal occurrence in any team. The establishment of trust among team members is also a rationale for the avoidance of many conflicts, which I would also have done. These strategies would have aided in the accomplishment of the project without much difficulty (Duarte and Snyder, 2006).

Learning

The teamwork ideally taught a variety of lessons that can be applicable in my future involvements. First, I understood that management skills are crucial for application in any form of a group. These are essential not only in a small group, but there have lacked in business enterprises, institutions, as well as welfare and political organizations, have posed constant challenges in the recent years. The experience taught me also to become responsible whenever crucial roles are assigned to me. A sense of responsibility boosts one’s morale in the handling of issues even though very tiny. It was also critical in teaching me that I should learn to cope with others. This entails the coming down to comprehend that everybody possesses a distinct personality as well as interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. These natural differences have long caused endless conflicts within major organizations that have collapsed (Deakin and American Institute of Architects, 2008).

A variety of attributes are essential in the promotion of high performance, which includes the setting up of clear goals, leadership that is competent, comprehensive alignment of ideas in addition to effective processes and approaches (Cesta and Tahan, 2002). The excellent relationship among participating members is also important as well as the employment of ample communication skills. Consultation is essential in duties allocation to team members and constant support is required wherever necessary in handling any form of a project (Cesta and Tahan, 2002). The key roles that have to be played by members of a team are budgeting, coordinating, liaising in addition to planning for effectiveness in team operations. In addition, strategic implementation requires high levels of understanding, participation, and cooperation. Therefore, I managed to identify areas of improvement requirement, which include emotional intelligence, assertiveness, and conflict resolution (Cesta and Tahan, 2002).

Conclusion

Effective team performance management is a fundamental instrument that impacts positively on project accomplishment. Team performance is ideally affected by team quality, communication in addition to the nature of the task being handled. The success of the project also depends on the effectiveness in the application of Tuckman’s Model and the way of handling team Dynamics as well as unstructured Problems. Leadership and management skills determine performance quality. In addition, projects handling requires a high sense of responsibility, integrity, commitment, and invaluable respect for all team members. Comprehensive alignment of ideas in addition to effective processes and approaches are also essential features in the enhancement of team

Reference List

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Brodie, D., 2011. Teams The Five Common Barriers to Effective Teamwork. Web.

Cesta, T and Tahan, H., 2002. The case manager’s survival guide: Winning strategies for clinical practice, Volume 1. NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Deakin, J. and American Institute of Architects. 2008. The architect’s handbook of professional practice. NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Duarte, D. and Snyder, N., 2006. Mastering virtual teams: strategies, tools, and techniques that succeed. NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Dyer, W. and Dyer, J., 2007. Team building: proven strategies for improving team performance. NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Evans, J., 2007. Quality and performance excellence: management, organization, and strategy. New York: Cengage Learning Press.

Harmony Explorer. 2010. Key aspects of effective team building. Web.

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Kitchen, J., 2005. When Logic Just Doesn’t Work. California, International Risk Management Institute publishers. Web.

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Larson, C. and LaFasto, F., 1989. Teamwork: what must go right, what can go wrong. NY: SAGE.

Nambiar, S., 2010. Interpersonal Intelligence. Interpersonal Intelligence Activities. Web.

Rosensweig, F. and Joyce, S., 1993. Conducting a team planning meeting for studies and concept development tasks. Facilitator’s Guide. Washington, DC: Agency for International Development. Web.

Smither, J., 2009. Performance Management: Putting Research into Practice. NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Wheelan, S., 2009. Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders. NY: SAGE.

Tuckman, B. (2008). Developmental Sequence in Small Groups’ Group Facilitation. A Research and Applications Journal ‑ Number 3, spring. Web.

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