To understand team building and the methods best adopted to choose a project team, one must first define a team adequately. Biech (2001) suggests that a team includes a group of people or individuals that are â€œmutually dependent on one another to achieve a common goalâ€ (1). Various other definitions of team suggest that a team must also function well together to succeed.
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Functionality is an important part of team work, and typically the purpose of a team with respect to a given project. There are multiple advantages to working in teams, including increasing the likelihood that an organization will achieve a better end result with respect to a project (Beich, 2001). Many organizations are adopting a team based approach to respond to the needs of a changing global marketplace. Teams often have the ability to more closely gauge customer needs and provide more information regarding technological changes, as well as provide a faster response to problems than â€œtraditional hierarchiesâ€ (Biech, 2001:2). There are multiple characteristics of successful teams; these include: established clear goals, have defined roles, open and clear communication, provide for effective decision making, provide balanced participation, value diversity and manage conflict efficiently (Biech, 2001:14). How does one go about developing teams that do this? Team responsibilities must be clearly identified and delegated. This can occur through open channels of communication and by sharing role perceptions within the team (Biech, 2001). A team must include a master leader responsible for mentoring and coaching other members of the team, as well as promoting decision making activities within the team (Williams, 1998). The leader should serve as a mentor, encouraging team members to develop effective methods of communicating a shared vision by providing an example of how to do so; the leader must also serve to motivate and empower people to attain their desired outcome (Williams, 1998). The leader may serve as a chairperson to the team, helping provide continuous support and reaction to other members. Code, Langan-Fox & Langfield-Smith (2000) suggest that effective team building and functioning can only result when members of the team share a team â€œmental modelâ€ that is clear and precise or represented. Further they suggest that effective team functioning results when an individual or chair within the team work with other team members to help influence the development of a mental model that will elicit the desired outcomes within the team (Code, et al., 2000). A mental model may include specific interventions and objectives for making decisions with the intent of achieving organizational objectives. This can be achieved by providing team members with a â€˜verbal protocol analysisâ€, but analyzing and representing information or by brainstorming various methods and providing guidelines to team members (Code,
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