When you take a step back and think about it, it is not hard to tell if a team has been effective. The results tell the story. If the team has been effective,
- the outcomes – products, services, ideas, or recommendations – meet or exceed stakeholder expectations;
- members of the team feel satisfied with the process and the product of their effort;
- team members have learned lessons that will make themselves and the organization more effective in future initiatives.
The road to such results can be plagued with potholes, and teams frequently run into obstacles and problems along the way. They may fail to live up to their potential, fail to deliver expected outcomes, or fail to produce their results in a timely manner. Many of these can be prevented if team leaders assess their team’s performance. This is particularly true when a team’s mission will take more than a few months to accomplish.
Three strategies to help monitor and maintain successful teams:
1.) Taking the pulse of your team at several points in time. This can help you safeguard against any resources or action items that may cause failure.
2.) Don’t wait until a problem surfaces. Often managers wait until the problem becomes apparent that their team isn’t hitting its interim goals.
3.) More often then not they can be traced to a flaw in the basic foundation; perhaps it doesn’t have a clear mission, or doesn’t have the support it needs from top management.
Kabaga & Browing (2003). Maintaing Team Performance. For the Practicing Manager. Center for Creative Leadership.