UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF TEAMS
AC 1.1 Explain how teams differ in the workplace
“A group is a collection of individuals who coordinate their individual efforts. On the other hand, a team is a group of people who share a common team purpose and a number of challenging goals.”(bizjournals)
I am firstly going to look at what makes a group, for example in my department we have 3 lead application analysts, however, we all focus on different streams of applications or services. As a group, we all have our mindset on our own goals and responsibility’s however, we come together as a group. As a group, we meet monthly, and we may discuss issues with our shared workspace and tasks will be delegated to the group members accordingly. As this was a management enforced group, we all get the feeling this is for administration only.
What is a team, “A team comprises of three or more people who come together to achieve a goal or project” (Robin Fritz). In my workplace, I am often asked to join a larger team so we can build on the collective expertise of a variety of people from across Welsh Water. When people from the various departments are part of the team we can focus on all the potential issues early on, for example recently a business team proposed an idea for a new application however without resources from information security on the team they won’t be able to understand the legal and security implications of the chosen idea. Having someone from infosec on the team from the beginning would help the speed and productivity of the team. In my workplace teams are often formed for temporary assignments with one specific goal or focus in mind. I find when I am part if a team environment, I’m more invested into the project as I really enjoy the open-ended discussion and actively problem-solving, as the application team are often part of multiple teams I enjoy forming new relationships with the larger project teams.
AC 1.2 Describe the behavioural characteristics of an effective team
AC 1.3 Outline the stages of team development using a recognised model
Every team go through different stages before becoming functional, Bruce Wayne Tuckman published model called the Tuckman’s Stages” on seeing this model for the first time it was easy to attribute my own team experiences. The model recognises that group do not start off as being formed and functional and each stage shows how a team’s grows. The forming stage takes place when we first meet the initial team members in my workplace this would usually be in the early stages of a project where the in-house staff team are selected, this stage gives the team a chance to make initial impressions and to share information on past projects and learn about the new and gain an idea of the role each member might play. I quite enjoy the forming stages as I get to meet and understands the other team member backgrounds and interests, often in my workplace forming may take some additional time to understand cultural difference as the Indian culture plays a big part of Welsh Water as our IT partner. I find sometimes we go thought norming a 2nd time when a supplier of a product is added to the team as lots of extra staff are added to deliver the product. As the team start to produce work together and being to develop and understand the different opinions and what causes the conflict within the team they move into the “storming” stage. This stage is also the time when team member may try to establish themselves as the leader and being a power struggle within the team. One of my largest projects comprised of 2 big external organisation a mix of tempory staff as well as quite a number of new internal teams, I feel as a whole we spent a lot of time in the storming stages, the project team was significantly large with people then split into small sub-teams to deliver waves of delivery. In the initial stages, the team members were competing with each other for status or to highlight there past experience on how things should be run. Some teams managed to progress through this with the strong guidance from the project managers and some of the sub-teams were constantly stuck in the storming stages as they couldn’t learn to be accepting of each other for the good of the project lot of time was spent in conflict. If a team can work out the team dynamics of storming they can evolve to the next phase of norming, this phase is where the team start to establish respect and delicate who is doing each task, by this time the team have formed working relationships and commitment are growing. The team leader may not be needed as much at this stage as the team are actively making decisions and problem solving and are becoming functional at working together. The final stage of a team’s development is performing, this means the team is working hard without conflicts and are achieving the team goals and the team leader can focus on the development of the team members. In my workplace, we often don’t reach this stage as teams change for final delivery of solutions and due to projects overrunning team member may already have been assigned there next projects or have lost focus. In 1977, Tuckman and Mary Ann Jensen added a fifth stage “Adjourning.” The adjourning stage is when the project has come to a close, in my workplace this would end with a project party, however, the adjoring stage can last for a while as with the big project above often another member of the project will still be demoted months later following the splitting up of a high performing team.
UNDERSTAND THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TEAM WORKING
AC 2.1 Identify the responsibility of team members
AC 2.2 List the advantages of working in a team
I can see many advantages of teamwork, “Many of us are more capable than some of us, but none of us is as capable as all of us.” -Tom Wilson” this quote highlights that teams will have strengths and weaklings however they will work together to learn and become better and create better relationships.
Fosters Creativity and Learning
Creativity thrives when people work together on a team
Blends Complementary Strengths
Working together lets employees build on the talents of their teammates.
Relying on other people builds trust, and teamwork establishes strong relationships with coworkers.
Teaches Conflict Resolution Skills
When conflict arises in teamwork situations, employees are forced to resolve the conflicts
Promotes a Wider Sense of Ownership
Team projects encourage employees to feel proud of their contributions
Encourages Healthy Risk-Taking
As a time the risk is shared, meaning a risk that would be too much for an individual maybe be shared with a team.
As a team is formed, its member also gain a sense of commitment to the project and each other.
AC 2.3 List the disadvantages of working in a team.
Teamwork is often regarded as a positive, however, anyone that has ever been a part of the bad team will understand there are also disadvantages to teamwork some of these I have highly below.
In big teams, it’s often easy for someone to distract other team meters.
The bigger the team the more likely one or more of the team personality traits will clash causing friction amongst the whole team.
Risk of failed
As a number of resources have been placed together this increase the risk of the failure should the project not succeeded, as the individual may have delivered some elements alone.
Competition/rise above the team
One of the team may be trying to shine above everyone else.
This may be someone that doesn’t enjoy teamwork or the team have sub-cliques and excluding some team members.
Lack of skill
Some individuals are not compatible with teamwork.
The mood of one member can have a negative effect on the whole teams moral.
Ownership/ Unequal Participation
In bigger teams it is easy to hide and allow others to carry the brunt of the work, this also goes for ownership of failed tasks,