Leaders to Leader

Lessons from the Great American Leaders & How They Apply Now

What’s Involved in the ‘Teaming Process’

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The methodologies used for problem-solving and decision-making can be complex. When initiating team projects, both leaders and teams can get bogged down in complicated problem solving, decision-making and process-improvement models. Rather than utilize methodologies that are difficult to understand and implement, leaders should provide their teams with a simplified model to accomplish a specific assignment.

It is important for teams to have a universal model with a consistent and simple template to monitor task progress and chart the development and implementation of actions and strategies. This type of model will help teams benchmark progress, enhance performance and discover an identity.

It is important for leaders to understand that problem-solving models typically include 7 or 8 stages, and decision-making models typically have 6-12 stages. Most teams struggle with the complicated procedures of these models, and many neglect or omit stages at the first available opportunity. Team effectiveness and productivity will consequently increase when leaders implement a simplified model and process.

Related: Strategies and Solutions for Solving Team Problems

Consequently, leaders should be cognizant of the five essential team process stages discussed below.

Recognition

The recognition stage encompasses the team’s impressions when facing a new situation. This stage is critical to the success or failure of the team process. Here, before making an initial response, teams are challenged with identifying the circumstances surrounding a problem or task. Nothing useful is gained until the team becomes fully aware of and clearly defines these circumstances.

The first step is to identify and define the task or purpose at hand, taking into account existing biases, assumptions and constraints. Also, teams must establish their objectives and the regulations for the process, and then pinpoint the most ideal outcome.

Understanding

The primary purpose of this stage is to check the validity and accuracy of the issues identified in the recognition stage. Next, the team must determine which data should be collected to help clarify the details of the task. Finally, they must prepare an analysis detailing how the team will carry out its project.

Related: Correctly Framing Problems Pinpoints the Right Solution

Decision Making

The decision making stage is a rational linear process comprised of discrete events. These events should be relatively simple and easy to achieve. The assumption here is that as long as each stage is carried out correctly, the end result will be an effective decision.

Decision makers in a team environment should recognize the danger inherent in any recommendations yielded by a process that is governed by subjective criteria. The process they must follow to be successful requires mapping the decision system supporting the entire decision making process: inputs need to be verified along with information that is useful and contextual to the problem.

The decision making process allows teams to finalize their options after clarifying and agreeing to the desired results. The final step in this stage requires the team to apply all of the methodologies and systems that it has decided upon to identify the best potential option.

Implementation

Completing the decision making stage frees the team to act. The implementation stage often begins with excitement and concludes with hard work.

This stage makes plans work by putting them into practice. The process begins with setting up and preparing all of the possible support, resources, people and logistics required. Teams must then develop a strategy for piloting the plan according to its goals and objectives. Immediately after implementation the team continues to think systematically by identifying limiting forces that need to be reduced and by avoiding short-term fixes, negative synergies, adhocism, sabotage and any power blocks that may hinder the project’s success. The last step in this stage is to monitor the progress of the plan against actual results.

Related: Execution: Six Action Steps

Completion

The completion stage is where teams develop assessments and follow-ups, and authority for the project is transferred to the process owners, allowing the team to move on to other projects, problems and concerns.

Adapted from: A Team’s Purpose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series by Timothy Bednarz (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011).

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2012 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved

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Written by Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D.

October 11, 2012 at 11:03 am

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  1. […] What Is Involved in the ‘Teaming Process’ […]

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