The majority of the top reasons why projects fail invariably relate to people – lack of strong leadership, not understanding the skills within the project team and ineffective engagement with stakeholders are just a few. Though projects often have reporting mechanisms in place on key aspects of the project, it’s rare that leaders sense check whether the team have clarity of purpose.
People often shy away from understanding the culture of the team as it is difficult to measure because we are all unique individuals with different needs, motivations and indeed values. To some, teamwork is meeting team objectives, to others it is trusting colleagues and to a further group it might be about clarity of purpose and others meeting the needs of their customer. An internet search suggested it was “An action taken by a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.”
To gain any ground at all we must appreciate that teamwork means different things to different people and the power is in harnessing and working with those differences to the mutual benefit of all.
The development of effective teamwork in business, and indeed within projects, is very powerful – it brings results in terms of objectives being achieved, clarity of purpose, playing to individual’s strengths and building trust to achieve the project objectives. However, as mentioned, far too often project teams either invest in the wrong type of team development or indeed shy away from it completely or pay scant regard to the benefits it can realise. Why? Well quite simply, the impact that effective teamwork has is hard to measure and, in terms of the return on investment, it is almost impossible to isolate benefits as a single variable.
Research suggests that teamwork is the one sustainable competitive advantage that remains largely untapped.
Do it effectively and it can be very powerful to experience people coming together, setting aside their individual needs for the good of the whole and on occasions accomplishing what might have looked impossible on paper. It gets more done in less time with less cost and helps people find fulfilment in their work – a sense of connection and belonging.
At The Colour Works we know the power of effective teamwork, the results it can produce at individual, team and organisational level AND the dilemma organisations face in terms of how to measure it and prove their investment was worthwhile. Over the past couple of years, with the help of our clients, The Colour Works believes it has developed a solution that works, is focused and, most importantly, is able to tangibly measure the perception individuals have of their team performance.
- The TPI indicator works equally well in organisational as well as project teams.
- Team members complete an anonymous questionnaire – 48 questions that relate to 16 key elements that are important in developing an effective team.
- The resulting TPI Report enables the results to be aggregated and for a focused workshop to be run that celebrates the strengths that the team perceives it has but also discuss and create action plans to move forward in those areas of perceived weakness.
- Running alongside a team with Discovery profiles and/or Discovery Full Circle, the results can then also be broken down to look at the perceptions of the dominant colour energies, strengths, weaknesses, whether some are feeling more bullish than others and so on… The opportunities are endless.
- When working with a larger group made up of smaller sub-teams, the results can also be viewed against each sub-team to see if there are any trends across the group.
- The indicator and report can be re-run in 3-6 months’ time (and further down the line if required) to then be able to measure the distance travelled by the team.
And there you are – THAT is how you measure effective teamwork and start to make a good team great.
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