Feedback Please – Teamwork

Paul Naybour

Q. In a project context, what is meant by ‘teamwork’ (10 marks)

A. Team work is where a group of individuals collaborate and co-ordinate together towards a common goal. They tend to share a common purpose and do what they can to achieve it. For example there is a need to deliver a requirement to the end user. This requirement will achieve organisational benefits that the user can use. The team members each have a different set of skills and area of expertise. Here they will work together using this to deliver the requirements. Here the team have worked together in unison to achieve that same common goal of delivering the requirements.

Q. List and describe 4 distinct stages through which a team might develop. (40 marks)

A. Here Tuckman’s model of team development applies. Tuckman identified the following 4 stages:

– Forming – Here the group of individuals have gathered for the first time. As they do not know each other, people tend to be a bit more reserved. They are also having a ‘feel of the group’ to see where they fit in. They are getting acquainted with the other team members and are getting to know them. In this stage it’s important the PM to give the team a real sense of purpose

– Storming – Here the team members are starting to understand the different personalities within the team. Here there may be some conflict or confrontation as people try and find their place amongst the team members. There is also competition as people try to find their place and become valued members. As the team is still relatively new, they are still searching for that sense of direction. In this stage the PM can work with the team to plan the project and help people understand how they fit into the delivery.

– Norming – Here team members finally understand each other and the team spirit starts to form. Rules and values start to set in within the team and people are starting to follow them. People are now generally more accepting of others and start to look for achieving the common goal. In norming the PM has to set early milestones and help the team to delivery. They might also want to encourage some team members to take on more responsibility

– Performing – This stage is the optimum stage where teams perform best and are actively working towards or are achieving that common goal. Team members are solving problems, being proactive and are motivated in striving for success. The team members are more knowledgeable and even though it is a team, they still have that level of independence, that freedom to express themselves freely without fearing the repercussions as they trust each other. It is important here that the PM relaxes controls so that people can take the initiative. This can be difficult for some PMs to let go.

2 thoughts on “Feedback Please – Teamwork”

  1. Your answer is fine I just added a few sentences to relate the Tuckman model to project management. Always try to think about the so what question. So what does this mean for a project manager?

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