How To Create Your Perfect Team

Have you ever thought it was impossible to create your perfect team? Even if you are working alone, you are delivering something to someone, so really we can all say that we are working in a team.  A team is any group of people who work together – together, independent or cooperatively to accomplish a project, purpose or a goal.

The most basic team is your department, the group you work with day to day to produce a product or a service that serves the company’s external customers directly or the internal customers that you support to produce a product that directly serves the customers.

Winning Teams

Teams are created for various reasons; some are long term some shorter term for projects.  Not all teams are revenue generating but all teams contribute to the profitability of the company.
Executive leadership teams, product development teams are long term planning and operations focused, Sales teams are focused on driving revenue, HR teams provide value by ensuring staff turnover is low, an Admin team adds value by supporting all areas of the business.
Setting out the value they bring will ensure your team is on track to be their best, they know their outcomes and how they fit into the circle of activity.

Team Size – what works best for work performance?

This is a much debated and researched topic.  You need to consider a number of factors when determining the best team size.
Key areas to take into account are:

  • Budget
  • Purpose
  • Outcome
  • Roles required

The general consensus on team size is five to seven members. Ongoing team size for effective functioning is four–nine members.
In most cases, large teams will form sub-teams or working groups to accomplish a set project. These larger groups are most effective when you need strategic planning input, overall project communication, building support for an idea etc.

Types of Teams

There are three types of teams – functional, cross-functional and self-managing.

  • Functional – groups from the same work area or department who meet on a regular basis to analyse customer needs, solve problems, provide members with support, promote continuous improvement, and share information.
    These are the most common in the workplace and are often called departments.  The members work together to accomplish a goal, they may not be constantly interacting however they are all working to one common goal and share information and problem solve effectively.
  • Cross-Functional Teams – groups who come from various departments or roles across the organisation to deal with a specific issue (customer problem, process improvement, product problem etc).
    These often have a set time frame or goal to meet (eg: a new accounting system would include finance and operations to discuss the best software to implement).  They work closely to develop a plan that works best for the company. Each person brings a responsibility and contribution.
  • Self-Managing Teams – groups who assume responsibility and have self-direction in all areas of their work. These teams reach a goal without a great deal of management and are very effective when you have capable, independent workers in them. Often they report findings or progress to a senior manager however, that person doesn’t necessarily participate actively in the team.

 

If you are looking to go deeper on this subject, this article by the Harvard Business Review will give you a more in-depth viewpoint. 

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