In a project context, explain what is meant by teamwork. List & describe 4 distinct stages through which a team might develop.
Teamwork is where a group of individuals are working together collectively or in collaboration in order to achieve a common goal. Working as a team can lead to a better outcome where individuals have different but complementary skills and can build upon the work of each other to achieve more than each could achieve in isolation, it can enhance the morale of he people concerned, and it can give confidence to the project sponsor and the stakeholders that the project is being conducted in a unified and productive manner.
4 stages through which a team might develop are forming, storming, performing, and norming.
1) Forming. At the beginning of the project the team members are new. They might not have worked with each other before, and each individual is trying to understand their role in the bigger picture. As such there is no unified approach, and it is likely that assumptions will be being made.
2) Storming. As the team begins to gel and starts to deliver, each individual will be trying to establish their position in the team. Here there is significant potential for conflict and clashes between team members, The project manager will need to manage this carefully and to coax, coach & coerce the team members into accepting situations and moving forward as a productive collective rather than as individuals. Establishing clear guidance and conflict resolution measures will be key for the PM here.
3) Norming. At this stage the team is now working together as a collaborative unit, & delivering outputs according to the plan. There is a risk however that the team becomes more important than the task at hand, and that team members become complacent. While the team is delivering, it might not be developing new ideas & adapting its style for optimal efficiency.
4) Performing. This is the optimal state that the PM should try to ensure is reached by the team as soon as possible. Here the team is efficient & productive. They have knowledge and motivation. They have ideas and act upon them, and will be developing their methods to ensure optimisation. Creative conflict abounds.