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High-Performing Teams

Before we delve into the management principles and techniques that can lead to better project team performance, let’s get clear on the goal. In other words, what do high-performing teams look like? What do they have in common? Do they all look and act the same? While no two teams ever perform in precisely the same manner, and every team will have their particular strengths, I have found a core set of traits that are shared by high-performing teams.

  • Clarity— This trait is likely the most important. High-performing teams know where they are going, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. They understand the project goals and priorities, they have clear roles and responsibilities, and they understand their assigned work tasks and how their piece fits in with the rest.

  • Commitment— Members of high-performing teams are committed to the success of the project. They demonstrate a persistence and determination to get the job done. The source of the commitment is not always the same. It may be personal, to the team, to the customer, or to the organization.

  • Professional— High-performing teams are professional about their work. Members take individual responsibility for the quality of assigned work, personal communications, and interactions with all stakeholders.

  • Synergy— High-performing teams develop a synergistic force about them that allows them to accomplish more as a combined team than they could do collectively as individuals. This synergy is developed over time, but generally results when the team has the right mix of skills and experiences, has a healthy team-orientation, and has clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

  • Trust— High-performing teams display a high level of trust in each other and in their project leader. Trust is earned over time, too, and demonstrating effective leadership and creating a collaborative team environment with an open exchange of ideas are keys to building this trust level.


  

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