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Team Building Term Paper

 

Team
The complexities involved in the organization and management of the project team are quite common in today’s project environment. The team effort often spans organizational lines, including and intricate matrix of assigned personnel, support groups, subcontractors, vendors, partners, government agencies, and customer organization. Uncertainties and risks introduced by technological, economic, political, social, regulatory factors are always present and can be enormous in challenge to organizing and managing the project teams. Another challenge is the establishment of effective linkages among the various team factions and support groups for proper communications, decision-making and control.

Purpose
The purpose is to find out the reasons and factors influencing over the Team Building. How we can consolidate effective team. To view the elements which are very essential for Team Building.
 

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Significance
Its very important to know about all those points for effective team building in any area of the business, because unless we know about the factors which are influencing over Team Building then its almost impossible to develop effective Team.

Scope
The scope of the study is very vast, so many things are related with it such as, about team and its use/purpose, project manager, integration process, team building approaches, staffing the project team, drivers and barriers, employees motivation, etc.

Methodology
The Methodology use in this depends upon the following activities:
• About Team
• Quoting Leadership Theories
• Purpose/Use of Team
• Role of Project Manager
• Staffing the Project team
• Team Building approach
• Evolution of Project Organizations
• Drivers and Barriers Impact
• About Team Integration
• Employees satisfaction and motivation theories
• Conclusion


Use of Teams
There is no single explanation for the recent increased popularity of teams. There are number of reasons which are following:

Creates Espirit de Corps
Team members expedite and demand a lot from each other. In so doing, they facilitate cooperation and improve employee morale. So it creates a climate that increases job satisfaction.

Allows Management to Think Strategically
The use of teams, especially self-managed ones, frees up managers to do more strategic planning. When jobs are time supervising their people and “putting out fires.” They are too busy to do much strategic thinking. By using work teams managers can redirect their energy toward bigger issues such as long-term plans.

Speed Decisions
Moving decision-making vertically down to teams allows the organization greater flexibility for faster decisions. Team members frequently know more about work-related problems than do managers. Moreover, team members are closer to those problems. As a result, decisions are often made more quickly when teams exist than when jobs are designed around individuals.
 

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Facilitates Workforce Diversity
You know the old saying that two heads are better than one and this can be true of work teams. Groups made up of individuals from different backgrounds and with different experiences often see things that homogeneous groups don’t. Therefore, the use of diverse teams may result in more innovative ideas and better decisions that might arise if individuals alone made the decision.

Increases Performance
Finally, all the preceding factors can combine to make team performance higher than might be achieved by the same individuals working alone.

The Task
To manage project effectively in such a dynamic environment, task must understand the interaction of organizational and behavioral variables. They must foster a climate conductive to multidisciplinary teamwork and innovative transformation of objectives and requirements into specific results, such as product and services that compete favorably in the marketplace. Because of these complexities and uncertainties, in many cases traditional forms of hierarchical team structure and leadership are not effective and being replaced by self-direct, self-managed organizational paradigms.

The Project Manager
Often the project manager becomes a social architect who facilitates the work process and provides overall project leadership. Typical managerial responsibilities and activities of today’s project team leaders are as follows:
1. Bringing together the right mix of competent people, which will develop into a team.
2. Building lines of communication among task teams, support organizations, upper management, and customer communities.
3. Building the specific skills and organizational support systems needed for the project team.
4. Coordination and integrating multifunctional work teams and their activities into a complete system.
5. Coping with changing technologies requirements and priorities while maintaining project focus and team unity.
6. Dealing with anxieties, power struggles and conflicts.
7. Dealing with support departments, negotiating, coordinating, and integrating.
8. Dealing with technical complexities.
9. Defining and negotiating the appropriate human resources for the project team.
10. Encouraging innovative risk taking without jeopardizing fundamental project goals.
11. Facilitating team decision-making.
12. Fostering a professionally stimulating work environment where people are motivated t work effectively toward established project objectives.
13. Integrating individuals with diverse skills and attitudes into a unified work group with unified focus.
14. Keeping upper management involved, interested, and supportive.
15. Maintaining project direction and control without stifling innovative and creativity.
16. Providing an organizational framework for unifying the team.
17. Providing or influencing equitable and fair rewards to individual team members.
18. Sustaining high individual efforts and commitment to established objectives.

Staff the project and organize the Team
Staffing the project organization is a major activity during the project formation phase. Because of the pressure on the project manager to produce, staffing is often done hastily and without properly defining the basic project work to be performed. The results are often personnel poorly matched to the job requirements, conflicts, low morale, sub optimum decision making, and in the end, poor project performance.
The effective team leader is a social architect who understands the interaction of organizational and behavioral variables and can foster a climate of active participation and minimal dysfunctional conflict.
 

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Skills Required
This requires carefully developed skills in leadership, administration, organization and technical expertise. It further requires the project leader’s ability to involve top management, to ensure organizational visibility, resource availability and overall support for the new project throughout its life cycle.

Team Building
Team building can be described as the process of taking a collection of individuals with different needs, backgrounds, and expertise and transforming them into an integrated, effective work unit.
In this transformation process, the goals and energies of individual contributors merge and focus on specific objectives. Team building is an ongoing process that requires leadership skills and an understanding of the organization, its interfaces, authority, power structures, and motivational factors. This process is particularly crucial in environments where complex multidisciplinary or transnational activities require the skillful integration of many functional specialties and support group with diverse organizational cultures, values, and intricacies. Typical examples of such multidisciplinary activities, which require unified teamwork for successful integration include


• Establishing a new program
• Transferring technology
• Improving a project-client relationship
• Organizing for a bid proposal
• Integrating new project personnel
• Resolving interfunctional problems
• Working toward a major milestone
• Reorganizing mergers and acquisitions
• Transitioning the project into new activity phase
• Revitalizing an organization
Because of their potential for producing economic advantages, work teams and their development have been researched by many.

Evolution of Project Organizations
In 1960s managers in various organizational settings have expressed increasing concern with and interest in the concepts and practices of multidisciplinary team building. As a result many studies have been conducted, investigating work group dynamics and criteria for building effective, high-performing project teams. Prior to 1980, most of these studies focused just on the behavior of the team members, with limited attention given to the organizational environment and team leadership. While the qualities of the individuals and their interaction within the team are crucial elements in the teamwork process, they represent only part of the overall organization and management system which influences team performance.

Drivers and barriers to high team performance
Drivers are positive factors associated with the project environment, such as interesting work and good project direction. These factors are perceived as enhancing team effectiveness, and they correlate positively with team performance.
Barriers are negative factors, such as unclear objectives and insufficient resources, that are perceived as impending team performance statistically correlate negatively with performance.
Six drivers that have the strongest positive association with project team performance are
1. Professionally interesting and stimulating work.
2. Recognition of accomplishment.
3. Experienced engineering management personnel.
4. Proper technical direction and leadership.
5. Qualified project team personnel.
6. Professional growth potential.
The strongest barriers to high team performance are
1. Unclear project objectives and directions.
2. Insufficient resources.
3. Power struggle and conflict.
4. Uninvolved, disintegrated upper management.
5. Poor job security.
6. Shifting goals and priorities.
 

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Team Integration
The project group is just a collection of individuals who have been selected for their skills and capabilities as needed to perform the upcoming project task. However, to be successful, the individual efforts must be integrated. This requires that the group members must work together as unified team, producing innovative results, which fits together into an integrated system as envisioned in the project plan. Initially, many problems, prevent the project group from performing unified as a team, such as
• Confusion
• Unclear responsibilities
• Ambiguous channels of authority
• Uneven work distribution load
• Unclear assignment
• Unclear communication channels
• Unclear overall project goals
• Mistrust
• Personal objectives unrelated to project
• Unclear measures of personal performance
• Lacking commitment to project plan
• Lacking team spirit
These problems are normal and often predictable, they also present barriers to effective team performance in any project situation, which must be quickly identified and dealt with.

Employees Satisfaction, Motivation and Commitment
The Scientific Management Approach to Motivation
Frederick W. Taylor, the “Father of scientific management”, was keenly interested in employees’ motivation. Using time-and-motion studies, Taylor first determined the most efficient way for employees to perform various tasks. Then he turned his attention to motivating them to perform these tasks exclusively by money, Taylor advocated the use of incentive pay systems, which paid employees more when they produce more.

Lillian M. Gilberth’s perspective over motivation of employees
Another member of the scientific management school, Lillian M. Gilbreth, also studied the use of incentives to inspire performance. She noted that promotions, higher pay, shorter hours, and holidays are all powerful motivators, especially when they were tailored to the individual’s needs and interests. Scientific management theorists did take into account the differences among individuals, but because they focused almost exclusively on monetary rewards, they failed to examine how other elements (such as opportunities for individual initiative) affect employee motivation.
 

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Measuring Project Team Performance
Every organization has its own way to measure and express performance of a team or project team and its outcome. However, in spite of the existing cultural and philosophical differences, a general agreement seems to exit among managers on certain factors that are included in the characteristics of a successful project team:
• Technical project success according to agreed-on-plan
• On-time performance
• On-budget performance
An estimated 90 percent of project managers include these factors among the three most important measures of project success. The majority of project managers rank these factors in the shown order in addition; other factors are often mentioned as important to project success. They include:
• Responsiveness and flexibility to customer requirements and changes.
• Strategic position of the project for future business.
• Ability to stretch beyond planned goals.
• Organizational learning benefiting future projects.
When describing an effective project team, managers stress consistently that high performance, although ultimately reflected by desired results, on time and within budget, is a derivative of many factors, which can be grouped into two broad categories of people-related qualities.
The importance of determining team performance characteristics lies in two areas.
First, it offers some clues as to what an effective team environment looks like. This can stimulate management thoughts and activities for effective team building.
Second, the results allow us to define measures of an effective team environment for benchmarking and further research on organization development efforts, such as defining drivers and barriers to team performance.

Summary
Effective team work is a critical determinant of project success with increasing complexities of the business environment and the work itself, team building takes on additional dimensions of organizing and unifying the project team.
The new business realities have forced managers to focus more on cross-boundary relations, delegation, and commitment than on establishing formal command and control systems. To be effective in such a dynamic environment, project leaders and their management must understand the interaction of organizational and behavioral variables, so they can facilitate a climate of active participation, minimal dysfunctional conflict, and effective communication.
They must also foster an ambience conducive to change, commitment, and self-direction.

Implementation
After understanding the criteria and organizational dynamics that drive people toward effective team performance, managers can examine and fine-tune their leadership style, actions and resource allocation toward continuous organizational improvement.

Recommendations
These conditions must be present for effective team building:
• Professionally stimulating work environment
• Good project leadership
• Qualified personnel
• Stable work environment
Organizing and developing good project teams involves the whole spectrum of management skills and company resources and shared responsibility between functional managers and the project leader.


References

Bovee, Thill, Wood, and Dovel, “Management”, International Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc
Cleland, David I., “Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation” 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc
Robbins and Coultar, Management 5th Edition, Prentice Hall International Edition
 

 

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