Do you notice that your team is not as effective as you hoped? Are you looking for ways to improve team effectiveness? Building an IT team is, unfortunately, not enough. Do not panic, as there are different models for more productive teamwork suggested by industry leaders. Moreover, businesses can use online collaboration tools to scale productivity by 30%. We will discuss it below in the article.
Nearly weekly, even the best teams are faced with challenges that have a detrimental effect on their achievements. Unnecessary and inefficient meetings, not thought-out load management, and unresolved intra-team problems – all this prevents employees from completing their tasks. At the same time, according to a McKinsey report, well-connected teams see a productivity boost of 20-25%.
The effectiveness of your IT team is the amount of work that it can perform if it is not distracted by some corporate issues. Team effectiveness is not about productivity for the sake of productivity but rather about building a space that promotes fruitful teamwork.
What exact factors determine the effectiveness of teamwork? Industry experts, scientists, and remarkable psychologists have struggled to find a one-size-fits-all solution for years. Entrepreneurs, professors, and doctors of psychology offer various noteworthy models, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. However, experts still discuss which one is the most efficient solution.
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Different Team Performance Models Suggested by Field Experts
A better understanding of different approaches to teamwork might help you choose a model for your own team. At least, a deeper understanding of popular approaches will shed light on the main things affecting your business. Let’s look at the most popular team models suggested by management professionals.
The GRPI Efficacy Model
This model of building great teams was proposed in 1977 by Irwin Rubin and his two colleagues interested in this critical study. It is commonly known as the GRPI model, where the GRPI is an acronym and means Goals, Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationships. Because of its simplicity, this model is commonly used when building a new team or solving interpersonal problems. In graphic form, the GRPI is usually represented as a pyramid.
These are the four main components of a productive team:
- Goals. Your staff needs clearly defined ambitions, outcomes, priorities, and hopes.
- Roles. Your staff needs clearly defined terms of reference.
- Processes. Transparent and honest decision-making processes are also important.
- Personal relationships. Mind the communication between team members. Your employees need good relationships, trust, and freedom to express their opinions to be truly productive.
Katzenbach and Smith Model
John Katzenbach and Douglas Smith suggested this model of creating successful teams after monitoring and analyzing the patterns of employees from several unrelated organizations. In their published book, titled The Team Approach, they described an approach, which is normally represented in the form of a triangle or pyramid.
In achieving team goals, the below mentioned things play an essential role:
- Sincere dedication. Full dedication of both team leaders and members to their mutual task.
- Complementary skills. Team members need good problem-solving skills, field expertise to fulfill all of their responsibilities, relevant experience, and even personal skills to improve their work.
- Mutual responsibility. Work colleagues have a mutual commitment to each teammate and personal responsibility for their part of the work.
Building Effective Teams: The 7T Model
In 1995, the founders of Lominger Limited, Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger tried to understand which factors influence team success and created the 7T model. They highlighted five internal and two external factors of strong, productive, consolidated teams. All five internal factors are required for efficiency. Still, without the two external factors, efficiency will remain low.
- Thrust – a common goal.
- Trust – the confidence that each of your workmates will support you anytime.
- Talent – professional skills, traits, ideas, and abilities.
- Team-building skills – the ability to act hand in hand together.
- Task skills – the ability to solve work issues.
- Team leader fit.
- Sincere support from the employer.
Organizing Productive Crews: The LaFasto and Larson Model
In 2001, doctors Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson suggested a new robust performance model –The Five Dynamic Characteristics of Collaboration and Teamwork. They analyzed the results of a survey conducted among representatives of 600 crews from different spheres. The surveyed were asked to answer what they meant by successful cooperation. After this, the authors developed a new robust performance model consisting of five components, increasing efficiency.
Five components of efficiency:
- Group members. Choose the suitable personnel with the right experience.
- Group relationships. Correct behavior promotes healthy working relationships.
- Collaborative problem solving as a team. Collaborative problem solving is only possible with good, healthy relationships.
- Good leadership. The key to success is the correct approach to leadership.
- Organizational environment. Good organization of work and a corporate culture contribute to better performance.
In 2002, professor J. Richard Hackman, expert in work dynamics, proposed a new model in his book named Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. This book describes the five prerequisites for improving the effectiveness of teamwork. Professor J. Richard Hackman conducted surveys on analytical groups in US agencies. It confirmed that the five conditions really increase the efficacy of work.
Here’s a short insight:
- Real team. A truly productive crew has clearly defined roles.
- Compelling direction. Your employees must have clear goals that are complex and interesting enough to motivate each coworker.
- Enabling structure. The crew’s organizational structure should facilitate teamwork, not hinder it.
- Supportive context. Each crew needs a supportive context. This means that everyone must receive all the necessary resources, rewards, information and support.
- Expert coaching. Each employee needs high quality teaching and mentoring. In business, only crews with a good leader can become truly successful.
In 2005, Patrick Lenzioni published the book Five Team Dysfunctions. He described a teamwork effectuality model based on the sources of problems, conflicts and political intrigue within the working group. He listed five factors that must be avoided by every business owner who wants his employees to be truly productive. After all, if you do understand the problem, you can fix it.
- Absence of trust. If there is no trust in the group, there will not be the necessary level of comfort for successful interaction.
- Fear of conflict. If someone is trying too hard to keep the peace in the group at all costs, there will be no “fruitful” conflicts, which are significant for new ideas to arise.
- Lack of sincere commitment. If people aren’t dedicated to their work tasks, they won’t follow through on shared decisions or meet deadlines.
- Avoidance of accountability. Avoidance of responsibility is another consequence of the previous point.
- Inattention to results. If personal goals become more important than the group success, then no one will monitor the overall results.
Simple Ways to Increase Teamwork Efficiency: Our Tips
Avoid unnecessary work meetings. Sure, meetings can be very productive, but that’s not always the case. When there is no clear agenda or goal, even short thirty-minute meetings take away the time your employees could have spent on tangible tasks. So ask yourself sometimes if you really need constant meetings.
Improve the efficiency of your meetings. It’s easier to do than it might seem. Prepare your agenda ahead of time and share it before your meeting. Decide on meeting standards to keep everything organized. Make notes and keep the records. Listen to every opinion.
Remove, postpone, delegate or reduce low priority work. It is almost impossible to avoid situations where team members have too many tasks. Improving the psychological atmosphere can be done with the help of thought-out workload management. A recommended, simple way to manage the workload is to remove, postpone, or delegate some tasks, or reduce the time taken to complete them.
Always consider the strengths of employees when assigning the tasks. There are no two identical employees. Everyone has different experiences, different strengths and weaknesses that make people valuable team members. Plus, different people prefer different tasks.
How We Can Help
Each listed model of team effectiveness can help you become more productive. But which should you choose for your team?
Are you struggling with the effectiveness of your IT staff? Are you lacking a field expert for an important project, but don’t know where to find suitable candidates? No worries. At IntelliSoft, we offer you three cooperation options: Outstaffing of software developers, UX/UI designers, QA engineers and other technical specialists, staff augmentation, and dedicated teams.
The services we provide include web, mobile and IoT development, eCommerce development, product design, UX/UI design, branding and many more. Already interested?
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