9.4. Breaking Down Barriers to High Team Performance

Four sets of interrelated variables influence project teams' performance. All four sets can be stacked into each other, as shown in Figure 9.2. This simple model breaks down the complexity of teambuilding and its managerial process into smaller parts.

  1. Drivers and barriers: These are key reasons for success, which directly influence team performance. The degree of project success is primarily determined by the Strength of specific driving forces and barriers related to leadership, job content, personal needs, and the general work environment, as shown in Table 9.5. Collectively, the items in Table 9.5 explain over 85 percent of the variance in project team performance.

    Work and Team Structure
    • Team participates in project definition, work plans evolve dynamically

    • Team structure and responsibilities evolve and change as needed

    • Broad information-sharing

    • Team leadership evolves based on expertise, trust, respect

    • Minimal dependence on bureaucracy, procedures, politics

    Communication and Control

    • Effective cross-functional channels, linkages

    • Ability to seek out and process information

    • Effective group decision-making and consensus

    • Clear sense of purpose and direction

    • Self-control, accountability, and ownership

    • Control is stimulated by visibility, recognition, accomplishments, autonomy

    Team Leadership

    • Minimal hierarchy in member status and position

    • Internal team leadership based on situational expertise, ...

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