The Effective Performance of a Team



Team Effectiveness Overview


Teams are an efficient and effective way to manage projects, where efficiency implies performing the work well and high satisfaction of the group members. To complete the volume of work, a shared commitment amongst teammates is required to achieve both individual and collective results (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Management is responsible for clarifying the rationale and performance targets for a team but also needs to be flexible to allow the team to develop its own commitments around purpose, goals, and approach.


Conditions that make an Effective Team (defined by Hackman)


Hackman’s condition:

  1. clear objectives and measurable

  2. agreed performance goals

  3. team size

  4. the right mix of team skills (technical expertise, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal skills)

  5. effectively communication

  6. strong structure



As found by Hackman’s condition, ‘compelling direction’ and other studies, a successful team should have clear objectives and measurable, agreed performance goals that will allow a team to achieve wins targeted to a broader long-term purpose which will help keep clear communication and track progress (Bailey, 2022) (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993) (Haas & Mortensen, 2016).


Another factor is team size. It is suggested that a team size of ten people is far more productive than larger groups at working through individual, functional and hierarchical differences towards a common objective. With a team sharing a common goal and purpose, mutual accountability and trust are very important factors that ensure the team's effectiveness and produce a mutual achievement.


 

 

Moreover, the right mix of team skills is necessary for effective performance. As defined by Katzenbach & Smith, these skills fall into technical expertise, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal skills.


Hence, the requirement of competence in the field in the team operation, decision-makers to move forward, and people that can effectively communicate and avoid conflict through constructive criticism, are required in the mix of a successful team (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993).


Hackman went further with his ‘strong structure’ condition by stating that all individuals should have a balance of skills such as diversity in knowledge, views, and perspectives which will help teams to be more creative and innovative (Haas & Mortensen, 2016). The differentiation in skills set could also be explained by Belbin’s team roles as seen in Figure 5, which groups behaviors in a set of clusters of effective contributors to a team (Belbin, 2022).


Figure 6 - Belbin's Team roles (Bailey, 2022)
Figure 6 - Belbin's Team roles (Bailey, 2022)