teamwork-handbook

teamwork-handbook



Successful Teaming:





Successful Strategies for Teams
Team Member Handbook
by
Frances A. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Accountancy and Legal Studies
with
Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation

Becoming skilled at doing more with others may be
the single most important thing you can do to
increase your value―regardless of your level
of authority.

Useem, Fortune 2006

Published by the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation
Clemson University
© Frances A. Kennedy, 2008

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Table of Contents

PART 1: Introduction....................................................................... 4
Why Should I Learn to Team?
PART 2: Teaming Basics .............................................................. 10
Stages of Development
Team Players
Teamwork Mental Models
Teamwork Skills
PART 3: Organizational Tools ...................................................... 36
PART 4: Problem-Solving Framework .......................................... 53
PART 5: Analysis Tools ................................................................ 58
PART 6: When Something Goes Wrong ...................................... 78
PART 7: References ..................................................................... 88

Whenever you see this box, you
can find a template to help you
with the tool!
Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

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PART 1.
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this handbook is to equip you with tools that can help your team
work productively and successfully. These techniques will help your team
organize information, organize and run effective meetings, and generate useful
member contributions.

Objectives for You
After you read and start using this handbook
in your team work, you will be able to:
 Recognize different team player styles
and what each contributes to the team.
 Organize a new team with clear
ground rules, roles, and
responsibilities.
 Organize and run effective team meetings that stay on track.
 Practice project and time planning.
 Follow the Seven Steps of Problem-Solving.
 Apply more qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques solving
problems.
 Know when and how to use the appropriate organizational and
analysis tools.

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WHY SHOULD I LEARN TO TEAM?
FACTS:


81% of Fortune 500 companies are building at least partially teambased organizations, and at least 77% use temporary project teams to
perform core work. Lawler, Mohrman, & Benson, 2001.



In 2006, Fortune Magazine devoted an entire issue to teams June 12, 2006.

It is clear from the media and research that a growing number of companies are
organizing their work around teams.

But why?
And what does it mean to me?
An increasing number of companies are using
business teams to respond quickly to changing
conditions in an environment of intense global
competition and increasing complexity. Changing
an organization to compete in a highly volatile business environment usually
requires multiple and continuous innovations. Achieving flexibility and innovations
requires reorganizing into your work units to improve information flow, optimize
synergies, and streamline work.

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This is what traditional organizations have looked like –

and this is
what they are
becoming.

In the traditionally organized organization, Cole has defined work responsibilities
and receives his work instructions from his supervisor. He performs his work
duties individually for the most part, and he alone is accountable for his work
performance.
In the networked organization, Cole’s successful performance depends on his
interactions with many of his coworkers. He is a member of a work team
expected to achieve excellence by optimizing the value and use of all members’
diverse skills and experiences. Therefore, Cole is both individually and jointly
accountable for the team’s work product.
Companies are actively recruiting graduates who can
work in this type of collaborative environment – people
who can work well with others, share responsibility, and
get the job done efficiently!

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How prepared are you?
Do you have the interpersonal skills to work productively on a team?
Have you mastered the organizational skills to keep the team on track?
Are you confident that you can manage a successful project?

Working in student teams gives you the opportunity to acquire and practice
the collaborative skills that are essential to your future success.

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“Teamwork is an individual skill.”

AVERY 2001

Becoming skilled at doing more with others may be the single most important
thing you can do to increase your value--regardless of your level of authority.
Useem, 2006

Which of the following statements are true?

1. “Since teamwork is a group experience, individuals can’t be
responsible for the quality of their team efforts.”

2. “Getting in a good team is mostly a matter of luck.”

3. “If you are in a poorly functioning team, and
you are not in charge,
there is little you can do
but grin and bear it.”

If you answered “True” to any of these statements, then chances are that
you have had unfavorable team experiences. Past experiences influence
how people react when placed on a new team. You learn how to “act” and
“interact” through past experiences. The “truth” is that these three
statements above are all myths―myths that many people believe in
because they confirm their own prior experiences with teams.

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The reality is that positive team experiences come from:
1. Using your individual personal abilities to enhance the entire team’s
effectiveness.
2. Knowing that being on a good team isn’t random. Rather, it is a
function of one’s relationship behavior and what you and others do.
3. Taking personal responsibility for the quality of relationships and team
outcomes.

This handbook on teamwork is specifically designed to help you learn to
use teamwork tools that will give you the collaborative skills you will
need to succeed in your career.
-----The methods and tools included in this book are those taught by
corporate trainers and most commonly used across organizations.

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PART 2.
TEAMING BASICS

Having a basic understanding of how teams work gives members a common way
of thinking about teams. It also helps set shared performance expectations and
promotes understanding and trust among team members.

This section examines four important characteristics of teams:
Stages of Team Development
Team Players
Teamwork Mental Models
Teamwork Skills

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STAGES OF TEAM DEVELOPMENT
Teams Go Through Almost as certain as the sun rises in the east and sets in
Multiple Stages of
the west, all teams go through stages as they develop.
Development
What does vary is how long each stage takes.

There are four stages of team development, and all teams
lie somewhere along that continuum: Forming, Storming,
Teamwork Skills Norming and Performing.
Help Teams
Progress
Through Stages Some teams never progress past the second stage, while
other teams zip right through to the final stage.

Key Points:
• Team members should talk about their
current stage.
•

All teams go through rough patches at first.

PERFORMING
NORMING
STORMING
FORMING

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Stage 1: FORMING*
This stage is characterized by introductions and
Characteristics

socializing activities. In some teams, members may be
somewhat tentative and may not fully understand the
purpose of the team. But in others, they may get right
down to identifying what each member can contribute to
meeting the objective and planning an agenda.

COMMON FEELINGS
 Excitement, anticipation, and
optimism
 Pride in being chosen for the
project
 Initial, tentative attachment to the
team
 Suspicion, fear, and anxiety
about the job ahead

COMMON BEHAVIORS
 Attempts to define the mission
and decide how it will be
accomplished
 Attempts to determine acceptable
team behavior and how to
resolve problems within the team
 Discussion of symptoms or
problems not relevant to the task;
difficulty in identifying relevant
problems
 Complaints about the
organization and barriers to the
task

RECOMMENDATIONS:
 Discuss team expectations.
 Useful Organizational Tools:
Establish Ground Rules (pg 40)
Define Team Roles and Responsibilities (pg 37)
* Stage descriptions are adapted from Working Together Reference Manual from Rubbermaid, Inc.

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Stage 2: STORMING
This stage is characterized by individual assertiveness,
Characteristics

hidden agendas, conflict, and discomfort. Significant role
negotiation is the undercurrent. This stage provides a
foundation for effective interaction in the next stages.
Cliques may form, and a struggle for leadership may take
place. Individual members may be dissatisfied with the
team’s performance at this stage and may reflect that
feeling with derogatory comments about the team.

COMMON FEELINGS
 Resistance to the mission
and to approaches different
from those used by each
individual member.
 Sharp fluctuations in attitude
about the team and the
project’s chance of success.

COMMON BEHAVIORS


Arguing among members
even when they agree on
the real issue

 Defensiveness and
competition; factions and
“choosing sides”
 Establishing unrealistic goals
 Expressing concern about
excessive work

RECOMMENDATION:
 Communicate! Make sure everyone stays in the loop.
 Useful Organizational Tools:
Meeting Agendas and Summaries (pg 42 & 45)
Project Planning Tools (pg 47)

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Stage 3: NORMING
The team begins to refocus on their task or objective and
Characteristics

to develop a team spirit. Leadership may be shared
among group members. Problems are addressed as
mutual rather than individual. Real progress toward the
team’s objective is made.

COMMON FEELINGS

COMMON BEHAVIORS

 A new ability to express
criticism constructively



 Acceptance of membership
to the team

 More friendliness, confiding
in each other, and sharing of
personal problems;
discussion of the team’s
dynamics

 Relief that it seems
everything is going to work
out.

Attempts to achieve
harmony by avoiding conflict

 A sense of team cohesion, a
common spirit and goals
 Establishing and maintain
team methods and
boundaries (ground rules).

RECOMMENDATION:
 Continue using Organizational Tools.
 Follow the Steps of Problem Solving (pg 53).
 Use Appropriate Analysis Tools.

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Stage 4: PERFORMING
Members feel high morale within the team, loyalty to the
Characteristics

team, and an identity that may be represented by a logo or
name. Members may participate equally.

COMMON FEELINGS
 Insights into personal and
group processes; better
understanding of each
other’s strengths and
weaknesses
 Satisfaction at the team’s
progress

COMMON BEHAVIORS
 Ability to prevent or work
through team problems
 Close attachment to the team
 Constructive disagreement
used to resolve conflicting
issues and ideas

RECOMMENDATION:
 Continue using Organizational Tools.
 Follow the Steps of Problem Solving (pg 53).
 Use Appropriate Analysis Tools.

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TEAM PLAYERS
Every team member has a natural team-player style. All of
these styles are important ingredients of successful
teams.

Contributor This member gets the team to focus on the immediate
task.

Collaborator This team player emphasizes the overall purpose of the
team.

Communicator This member encourages positive interpersonal relations
and group processes.

Challenger This style asks the tough questions and pushes the team
to take reasonable risks.

It is important for a team to understand the team player
styles of its members. This helps to highlight both
strengths and weaknesses. And if a player style is
missing, then the team can talk about how to fill this gap.

Which team player style are you?

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Team Player Questionnaire
Purpose

Take the Team-Player Questionnaire so you can learn to
identify your style and special strengths as a team member.
The results will also help you figure out what you need to do to
become a more effective team player. In addition, your team can use these
results to assess its strengths as a group and to plan how to become more
effective as a team.

To access this questionnaire and the directions for obtaining and interpreting the
results, please go to this website and scroll down to 98. Resource C.
http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/teamwork/9780787998110/resourcestools-for-developing-teams-and-team-players/resources_tools_for_developing

This questionnaire was developed by Glenn Parker and is also found in this
book: Parker, G. M. 1996. Team Players and Teamwork. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.

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Are you a Contributor?
Enjoys providing good technical information and data.
Pushes for high performance standards.
Helps the team use its time and resources.
Freely shares all relevant information with the team.

Dependable
Responsible
Organized

Efficient
Pragmatic

Clear

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Are you a Collaborator?
Helps the team establish goals and clarify tasks.
Sees the “Big Picture.”
Reminds the team to stay on track and focused on the target.
Pitches in to help out other team members when needed.
Flexible and open to new ideas.

Imaginative
Confident
Cooperative
Flexible

Visionary

Forward-looking
Accommodating

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Are you a Communicator?
Emphasizes team process.
Believes in an interpersonal “glue”.
Listens well and periodically summarizes discussion.
Encourages everyone to participate.
Helps team members relax and have fun.

Relaxed

Encouraging

Tactful

Supportive
Considerate

Friendly

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Are you a Challenger?
Questions goals and methods.
Willing to disagree with the leader.
Encourages the team to take well-conceived risks.
Honest about progress and problems.
Asks “why?” and ‘how?” and other relevant questions.

Candid

Brave

Adventurous
Questioning

Principled

Outspoken

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Styles Working Together
You probably discovered you have a primary and a
secondary team player style. These are the styles
you usually use when on a team.

You may have scored closely on more than one
player style. You might have even scored closely on
all four styles. That is okay! This just means that
you are versatile and will tend to draw on the
personality traits as needed.

The GOAL is to have a good
mix of team player styles
on the team.

All FOUR styles are needed to have
a really great team.
-----EVERYONE has valuable skills to bring
to the table!

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Too much of a good thing . . .
Teams with members who have similar styles may sometimes have trouble
reaching their goals.

If a team has only . . .

. . . contributors,
it may be data-bound, shortsighted, perfectionist, and may have
trouble completing the whole task.

. . . collaborators,
it tends to become overcommitted, too global, and overly ambitious,
and it does not know when to stop.

. . . communicators,
it focuses on the team processes and may set these as an end in itself,
with the project goals taking second place.

. . . challengers,
it spends a great deal of time in non-constructive conflict,
constantly questioning the goals and mission, and finds it difficult
to complete the project tasks.

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What if the team
doesn’t have an
even mix?

What if the team
is missing a
style?

HINT: TALK about the team’s
strengths and limitations!
 What qualities and skills is the
team missing?
 How can the team adjust?

Recognizing and talking
about weaknesses can be
your team’s

BIGGEST strength!

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TEAMWORK MENTAL MODELS
A “teamwork mental model” is an individual member’s
understanding about what is needed for a team to be
successful. Each team member comes to a team with a
pre-determined model (or picture) of how teams work
that is influenced by prior experiences.

Team members come to the first team meeting with
The Sooner You
Develop Good
Teamwork Skills,
the Better Your
College Team
Experience Will Be

different mental models of team processes. When
members have similar team-related knowledge of
processes, then they are better able to coordinate their
work and achieve higher performance. They can
anticipate the actions and information needs of their
teammates.

Your experiences with teams contribute to the
the teamwork mental model that you will take
with you to your first job.
-----Positive experiences will generate a positive
attitude and energy as you develop
collaborations during your career.

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TEAMWORK SKILLS
Experienced team members develop two distinct but
related sets of skills:
Interpersonal Skills
Meeting Management Skills
Interpersonal skills involve the ability to interact in a
positive and effective manner with other team members.
Effective Communication and Collaborative DecisionMaking are two important interpersonal skills. They
enable a team member to communicate openly and
supportively.

Four Guidelines for Effective Communication
1. Focus on the behavior or problem, not on the person. People become
defensive when criticized personally. Keep the discussion focused on the task
and the issues.
2. Make sure what you say and what you do are the giving the same

message. In other words, keep your verbal and nonverbal language on the
same page. This limits confusion.
3. Validate others’ contributions. Compliment team members on good ideas
and suggestions. This makes them feel a part of the team and encourages
future participation.
4. Make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Encourage
team members to express opinions and share ideas.
Don’t let specific team members dominate the
conversation. Ideas are lost this way.

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Collaborative Decision-Making
Decisions made by multiple individuals who openly share data,
Why do
opinions, and experiences are almost always better, more
companies use
teams to solve innovative, longer lasting decisions that those made my a
problems?
single individual.

It’s because of the diversity of
experiences and opinions!
Sometimes the process is harder
because people see things differently. But if
everyone thought the same way, then the decision would not
be very innovative at all!
Imagine what team members thought when someone said for
the first time,
“Let’s give free flights to people who fly frequently.” (Maginn 1994)
Probably some people thought:
“No one will buy this!”
“We’ll lose money!”
“What a crazy idea!”
“We’ll get fired if we suggest this!”
But as the team members began to talk about it, they began to
see new possibilities. Now it doesn’t seem like such a crazy
idea after all, does it?

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Once upon a time . . .
In his book, Shadows of the Neanderthal, David Hutchens tells the story of two
cavemen who went outside the cave to see what the world was like. Each one
went in a different direction, climbed a tall tower and looked out over the world he
could see. Then each one came back to the cave to report what he had seen to
the rest of the tribe.
Caveman #1 said,

“We must build spears so we can hunt for our
food if we are to survive.”

Caveman #2 screamed,

“No! We must build tools so we can plant
and grow our food. Only then can we survive.”

What did each one see from each of their towers?

This is what Caveman #1 saw:

But this is what Caveman #2 saw
from his tower.

Who is right?
Should the tribe build spears or hoes?

The answer, of course, is that they are BOTH right! But they would have to listen
to each other to understand why their viewpoints were different.

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Compromise versus Consensus

A compromise is one way of arriving at a decision that
What is a everyone involved can accept. The benefit to compromising
Compromise?
is that it is expedient and allows the team to move on to the
next task. In some situations, this is exactly what is needed.
Synonyms for
The problem with compromising is that the outcome doesn’t
compromise:
meet anyone’s expectations. Still, some people are happier

Settlement with it than are others. As a result, not everyone is 100%
Concession
Arrangement committed to the solution, so not everyone will work towards
implementing the decision.
When decisions are determined
by majority or authority, those
who dissent lose their
commitment.
In a consensus, the various points of view of each member of
the team are considered, discussed, compared, and
What is a
Consensus? discussed again until everyone sees all ”views from the
tower.” They may not all agree, but it is important that their
opinions are all heard.

Synonyms for Why is building consensus important?
consensus:
The benefit to building consensus

Agreement when making a decision is that
Accord everyone buys into the solution. This
Harmony
means that all team members will work
Union
towards making that solution work.

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Sometimes people in the minority may not feel comfortable jumping in
and expressing their own opinion. How do you get them to offer their
ideas and reasons?
The key to consensus building is steering the
discussion away from “right versus wrong”
arguments.
-----Instead, seek different opinions and . . . listen!

“How can we change this proposal so
it works for you?”
Avery, 2001

Nominal Decision Making (pg 63) is one way of sorting all everyone’s
opinions. When it looks like most people agree with one plan of action, you
can check for consensus by asking team members which of the
statements on the continuum below is closest to what they think (Avery 2001).
Now, you can ask team members who don’t agree with one plan of action
what their reservations are all about.
Unqualified yes.

1

2

I think more work is
needed before
deciding.

Move forward.

Move forward.

I can live with the
decision of the
group.

Do not move
forward.

3

4

5

6

The point of this
exercise is to include
those who disagree.
Inclusion gives
dissenters a voice,
which is always
better than no voice
at all!

Perfectly
acceptable.

I trust the group and will
not block this decision,
but I need to register
my disagreement.

I do not agree and feel
the need to stand in
the way of adopting
this decision.

Move forward.

Move forward.

Do not move forward.

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Meeting Management Skills
Meeting Management skills are critical
for a team to achieve its goals. The ability to
plan and run a productive meeting is one that is learned
through practice and by using appropriate management tools.

Mastering organizational and analysis tools will help your
team to:
 Hold productive meetings that start and end on
time.
 Come to meetings prepared with materials and
information.
 Maintain good communication and records so
everyone knows what the team is doing.
 Hold team members accountable for their assigned
tasks.
 Share the workload evenly.
 Plan your project assignment.
 Organize information to make it useful.
 Gauge the team’s progress towards completing the
assignment.

AND . . .

 Have a GREAT team
experience!

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PART 3.
ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS
Effective team meetings are perhaps the single most important ingredient in team
success. While individuals contribute much, their meeting together as a
synergistic team produces even more. A well-run meeting not only accomplishes
its task goal but motivates and excites team members. A meeting that is not
productive due to poor planning or conflict has just the opposite effect on team
members. They lose confidence in their ability to succeed, and many choose to
participate only minimally.

In order for meetings to be productive, it is important to create and maintain a
focus on both the team members and the task. Organizational tools help keep
the team on task and elicit member participation.

Teams should use some tools when first organizing:
 Establishing Roles and Responsibilities
 Establishing Ground Rules.

Teams should use other tools at every meeting to
maintain focus and effectiveness:
 Meeting Agenda
 Meeting Summary.

Teams should use still other tools as needed to keep projects on track:
 Project Plan
 Gap Analysis

 Milestone Chart.
The following sections explain these tools.

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ESTABLISH ROLES
Discussing
Roles and
Responsibilities
Establishes
Common
Expectations

It is important for every team member to actively
participate in the teaming process. Only in this way can
diverse skills and opinions contribute to the best
outcome. At times, some team members come to
meetings but don’t participate in discussions or volunteer
for tasks. These are “passive” members who may want
to contribute but need encouragement. Discussing team
member roles in the first meeting helps to better define
the manner in which all members can contribute and,
therefore, become ”active” members.

Teams should always determine three critical roles:
facilitator (or leader), recorder, and participant.

Facilitator: This role’s responsibility is to help the team
organize its efforts, stay task-focused, and hear out all
member contributions. The facilitator should not be
taking notes but should be free to focus on guiding the
team through a productive discussion and task
completion.

Recorder: The team recorder takes notes on the actions
and decisions of the team, maintains the team’s
permanent record, writes up and distributes the meeting
summaries.

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Participant: Often overlooked, the participant is the most
critical role on the team. While the facilitator and recorder
focus on running and documenting the meeting, it is the
Discussing the
Importance of the
Participants’ Role
Reinforces
Everyone’s
Responsibility

rest of the team that generates the ideas and solutions.
Participants’ responsibilities include regularly attending
and actively participating in team meetings. They must
accept responsibility and accountability for assigned
tasks and complete those tasks in a timely fashion. They
must also support the team in its decisions and
constructively handle disagreements and conflicts.

Permanent or Rotating Roles? The team must decide
whether the facilitator and/or recorder roles should be
permanent or should rotate among members. Several
considerations influence this decision. On the one hand,
the skills of a team facilitator improve with practice, so
permanent roles usually result
in smoother and more efficient
meetings. On the other hand,
longer-lived teams may benefit
from rotating roles in order to
share the workload and to
afford multiple members the
opportunity to learn and practice these skills. So
members should consider the life span of their team in
deciding between permanent and rotating roles.

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If rotating roles is the team’s preference, members should
decide how frequently to change the role. For example,
they may decide to rotate positions every three meetings.
Scheduling the rotation ahead of time helps prevent
confusion or hurt feelings later on.

Key Points:
•

Document roles and responsibilities.

•

Don’t assume that every team member has the
same understanding.

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ESTABLISH GROUND RULES
Establishing
Agreement on
Acceptable
Behavior Reduces
the Occurrence of
“Non-Acceptable”
Behavior

Establishing a set of ground rules, also referred to as
“norms,” is the second step to be accomplished in the first
team meeting. Norms constitute an agreement among
members on the types of behavior that are acceptable
and unacceptable.

Being Specific Ground rules should be as specific as possible, as diverse
Eliminates
expectations can foster misunderstandings and disruptive
Confusion
conflicts. For example, prompt completion and delivery of
the meeting summary may mean “the next day” to one
team member and “within a week” to another. A third
member may feel delivery is “timely” if provided before the
next meeting. If, however, the team develops ground rules
in its first meeting, members can all expect to receive the
meeting summary within two days of the meeting. This
way, potential conflicts are avoided.

HINT: Discuss the following questions in your
first meeting.
#1. Think of the BEST team experience you have had:
 What made the team work?
#2. Now think of the WORST team experience you have had:
 What made it the worst?
#3. What can we do to make this team experience one of the BEST
experiences for all of us?

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EXAMPLE: GROUND RULES

GROUND RULES
1. Attend each team meeting. (Notify team
facilitator in advance if unable to attend.)
2. Start and finish meetings on time.
3. Meetings will last no longer than one hour.
4. Listen to each other completely, without
interrupting.
5. Actively participate in meetings.
6. Complete assigned tasks on time.
7. Ask for help with tasks as needed.
8. Raise potential problems at the meeting.
9. The recorder will distribute meeting
summary within two days of the meeting.
10. At the end of each meeting, the team will
set the date and agenda of the next
meeting.

Key Points:
•

Agree on ground rules at the first meeting.

•

Be as specific as possible.

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MEETING AGENDAS
An effective team meeting agenda distributed well in
advance of the meeting is essential to ensure that
members come prepared and motivated to the upcoming
meeting. It also helps to keep the team on track as it
tackles its assignment.

In addition, an effective agenda eliminates word-of-mouth
misinformation and holds members accountable for their
responsibilities. It also provides an anchor to which
members can always return in order to keep the meeting
on track.
Make up the
Agenda for the
Next Meeting as a
Team BEFORE
Adjourning the
Current Meeting

An important and often overlooked agenda item is to
decide on the agenda for the next meeting. This item is
absolutely key because, when finishing one meeting, all
members are focused on the project and aware of what
was accomplished and what is left to do. Setting the
agenda for the next meeting at the current meeting
ensures continuity and a common understanding of team
progress. If instead the facilitator or recorder makes up the
agenda individually at some point after the meeting, he or
she may forget and leave off important items on the new
agenda.

A meeting is a process, and it can always be improved.
Take a minute at the end of the meeting and review what
happened. How could it have been improved? The
purpose of reflecting on what went right and what went
wrong is to make the next meeting even better.

Teaming Handbook

Page 38

The meeting agenda should contain six elements:

1. Meeting Logistics – Date, time, place, duration and main
subject.

2. Team Members Contact Information – For easy reference and
communication between meetings.

3. Purpose – Brief statement (1-2 sentences) of the goal of the
meeting.

4. Products – List of what the team will accomplish during the
meeting. Use outcome-oriented nouns, such as lists of
options or causes, a decision, and/or an action plan.

5. Preparation Required – Tasks for which team members are
responsible prior to the meeting, such as reading or data
collection, and a list of what items to bring to the meeting.

6. Process – Steps the team will take during the meeting to reach
their expected outcome (product) for that meeting. Begin
these statements with verbs, such as “Brainstorm problem
causes.” Each process step should also designate a team
member responsible for that step and an estimated time
allotment.

Teaming Handbook

Page 39

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/O
TEI/Resources

MEETING AGENDA
1

2
MEETING INFORMATION

CONTACT INFORMATION

3:30

DURATION

Approx.
1'30"

PLACE

Sirrine
Conference

3
PURPOSE

5
PREP

helen@school.edu
pat@school.edu

Bob

bob@school.edu

To synthesize our findings into our proposed executive
summary and PowerPoint presentation

Finalize your area
information and send any
information to be included
in presentation to Tom.

AGENDA ITEMS

KEY!

tom@school.edu

Pat

TIME

karen@school.edu

Helen

4/9/2008

Karen
Tom

DATE

1. Develop executive
summary
2. Develop PowerPoint
presentation
3. Determine next steps and
milestone progress
4. Plan next meeting and
write agenda

Your findings/proposals
and any other information
to be included in
presentation or summary.

4

BRING

6

PERSONS
RESPONSIBLE

PROCESS

TIME

All

Consensus

~ 30"

All

Consensus

~ 30"

All

Open Discussion

~ 10"

All

Consensus

~ 10"

MEETING SUMMARY
Keep Everyone Having the recorder promptly write and distribute a
Informed by
summary of a meeting is the best way to keep everyone
Summarizing the
Meeting Promptly on the same page with a common understanding of the
team’s progress. While a meeting summary does not
document all the discussion, it describes what was
accomplished in the meeting. It also includes the
decisions made, the action items agreed upon, and the
team members accountable for their completion. Finally,
the meeting summary gives the day, time, place, and
agenda of the next meeting.
Summarizing A well-written, promptly distributed
Promptly
meeting summary
Eliminates
Confusion increases the probability that
team members will follow up on
the action items and reduces the
likelihood of word-of-mouth
misinformation and confusion.

Remember that team reflection is a key component of learning.

Make your next meeting better by asking:

“What could we have done better at
this meeting?”

MEETING SUMMARY
MEETING INFORMATION
4/2/2003

DATE

PREPARED

Pat

FACILITATOR

TEAM MEMBERS
ATTENDING
Karen
Tom
Helen
Pat
Bob

x
x
x

Jerry Barron

PLACE

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

Sirrine Conference Room

SUMMARY

x

To present our findings and proposed future states to Dr.
Scott and determine next steps for report and presentation.

DECISIONS and
AGREEMENTS

After getting some feedback from Dr. Scott, the group
has decided to base our future state on the design of
the system using the budget forms that Helen
presented. It will be further discussed and adjusted to
meet the needs of the facility manager

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN

BY
WHOM?

WHEN?

1. Document meeting with area contacts and submit those to Helen

All

9-Apr

Area
team
scribes
Area
teams
Area
teams

Continuo
us

2. Area teams should be sure to meet before next meeting and
establish risk considerations for executive summary.
3. Submit any information that you would like included in the
PowerPoint presentation to Tom before next meeting.
4. The next meeting will be held in the library conference room 101
on April 9th.

Teaming Handbook

9-Apr
9-Apr

Page 42

Teaming Handbook

Page 43

PROJECT PLAN
Develop a Project planning is a very important process. It helps
Broad Overall
team members to systematically visualize the eventual
Project Plan
outcome and to broadly outline how to reach it.

First, define the outcome or goal to ensure that all
action steps make progress towards the same goal.
Second, list key action steps that it will take to
achieve the goal.

Third, anticipate potential problems and when they
may be encountered.

Fourth, discuss and record possible actions that
can prevent or overcome potential problems.

An overall project plan is a way to gauge progress. The
team should use this document periodically to assess
where they are, to determine if they are still on plan, or
to identify changes in plan due to new information.

Teaming Handbook

Page 44

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

EXAMPLE: Project Plan

PROJECT PLAN
ASSIGNMENT GOAL:
Develop presentation concerning the costs of poor quality for Pizza Pizzaz Company

Key Action Steps

Potential Problems

Preventive Actions

Research Juran's COPQ
framework.

None anticipated

Research how pizza is
made.

We may not be able to find
resources that provide
enough detail to be useful.

Team may have to
interview a manager at a
local pizza parlor.

Make a list of potential
quality problems.

We might not have a good
handle on what quality
means in the pizza
business.

Team will need to carefully
outline the analysis tools
necessary to determine the
root cause of problems.

Develop a list of solutions.

We might jump to the
obvious solutions and not
determine the root cause of
the problems.

We must closely monitor
our progress and adjust the
action plan to allow enough
lead time for presentation
development.

Develop a presentation.

We may not have enough
time to develop; someone
may be sick that day.

Team can assign a back-up
presenter for each part of
the presentation.

Key Points:
•
•

Teaming Handbook

Develop a common vision of the final product.
Anticipate potential problems AND preventive
actions BEFORE problems can occur.

Page 45

GAP ANALYSIS
Visualize the Another useful way to plan how to accomplish a
Future State
project is through Gap Analysis.

In Gap Analysis, the team identifies the current
state of a project, visualizes its future state, and
lays out the process for bridging the gap. This
type of analysis ensures that team members
have a common vision and plan of action for
reaching the future state.

Quantifying the current and future states, when
possible, makes it easier to set targets and
measure progress toward the future state.

Setting dates by which team members will
complete “necessary actions” establishes a
timeline for completion.

Identify the Actions
Necessary to Bridge
the Gap

Teaming Handbook

Page 46

EXAMPLE: Gap Analysis

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

GAP ANALYSIS
Cost of Produce Spoilage
Pizza Pizzaz
CURRENT STATE

FUTURE STATE

May 2008

November 2008

6% of Purchases

2% of Purchases

GAP

NECESSARY ACTIONS

4% Reduction

Team to analyze receiving and
storage processes
Recommendation by
June 1, 2008

HINT:
ALWAYS begin by visualizing the final product!
 Ensures all team members have a common
vision.
 Increases the probability of the team’s
achieving its goal.

Teaming Handbook

Page 47

MILESTONE CHART
Designating Responsibility After the team has visualized the project
Makes Individual Team Members outcome and has established the basic
Accountable steps to achieve it through a Project Plan
and/or Gap Analysis, it should fill in the
detail with a Milestone Chart.

A Milestone Chart differs from the two prior
planning tools in its level of detail. The
action plan is broken down into “action
steps.” Each step is a specific task with a
team member designated as responsible
and a target date for completion. Using the
chart, the team can track its progress to
the project outcome.

Key Points:
 Use the Milestone Chart to review progress at
each meeting.
 Check to see if unexpected problems have
occurred.

Teaming Handbook

Page 48

EXAMPLE: Milestone Chart

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

MILESTONE CHART
Team Name:

Goal:

Project Due Date:

COPQ Team

Develop presentation explaining the
costs of poor quality for Pizza Pizzaz

12/01/2008

Key Action Steps

1. Research Juran’s
Frameworks.

Who is
Responsible?

Completion
Date

Tracking Results
(completed, problems,
actions)

Karen & Laurie

10/15/2008 Completed by 10/14/08.

2. Research pizza
business.

Jaime & John

Completed search by 10/18/08 not enough; scheduled visit to
10/15/2008 pizza parlor 10/22/08.

3. List potential quality
problems.

Team

10/24/2008

4. Assign to cost
categories.

Team

11/1/2008

5. Determine solutions.

Team

11/17/2008

6. Plan presentation
detail.

Team

11/15/2008

Teaming Handbook

Page 49

PART 4. PROBLEM-SOLVING FRAMEWORK
There are many reasons to form teams and many
potential outcomes, but all the reasons boil down to one
primary purpose: to solve a problem. Problems come in
many forms. It could be a research
question, such as “Why do people
push elevator buttons when the light
indicates they have already been
pushed?” Or it could be a case
study requiring a critical analysis of
a problematic situation and
recommendations for actions.

Regardless of the form of the problem, teams commonly
do not know where to begin or how to proceed to solve it.
Consequently, through trial and error—a little stumbling
here and there—they may try different approaches until
something works—or it doesn’t.

Having Defined In organizations problem-solving is a daily activity, and
Steps Help Teams
teams are the most effective problem-solvers. A
to Start AND to
Finish methodology that teams in companies frequently use is
the Seven Steps of Problem Solving. This framework
helps a team figure out not only where to start but also
where to touch base whenever it encounters an obstacle.

The staircase on the next page illustrates the steps and
lists the questions related to each step.

Teaming Handbook

Page 50

The Seven Steps of Problem-Solving *


STEP 7:
Reflect and act on
learnings




These seven steps
help keep your team
focused on task.
STEP 6:
Review and evaluate

STEP 5:
Implement the solution






STEP 4:
Develop a solution and
action plan





STEP 3:

Identify the root cause(s)
of the problem


STEP 2:
Describe the Current
Process





`

STEP 1:
Define the Problem











What have we learned from the
problem-solving process?
What could we have done differently?
What have we learned that we can
use elsewhere?

What are the results of the change?
Do we need to revise the plan?
How do we measure the progress?

How will the best solution(s) be
implemented?
What actions and decisions are needed to
implement the best solution(s)?
What are the potential problems?
What preventive steps can we take?

What are the possible solutions?
What is the best solution(s) that meets
expectations?
What criteria should we use to select the
best solution?

What are the possible causes of the
problem?
What is the most likely cause? Why?

How does the current process work?
How should the process work?
What is the performance gap?

What is the problem?
What are the results expectations?
Who is the supplier and customer of the
process?
Do we need more information?

If your team struggles to come up
with a good solution in Step 4, go
back to check whether the team
did a thorough job of identifying the
root cause in Step 3.

* Adapted from The Problem Solving Memory Jogger 2000 and Corporate Training Manuals.

Teaming Handbook

Page 51

Refer to these seven steps to guide your team through a
sound process in solving problems.

To progress through the steps, your team needs the help
of some additional tools―specifically, tools for problem
“analysis.” You may already be familiar with some of
these tools, as they are useful in learning as well as
problem solving. The rest of this teamwork handbook
defines and illustrates the use of these helpful analysis
tools.

These tools include:
Brainstorming
Affinity Diagram
Nominal Group Technique
Pareto Charts
Flowcharting
Interrelationship Digraph
Cause-and-Effect Diagram
Data Collection

Teaming Handbook

Page 52

This chart identifies the most appropriate
tools for each step. Note that most of the tools
help teams through multiple steps.

Steps 6 and 7. Review, Evaluate, and Reflect
Step 5. Implement and Monitor the Solution
Step 4. Develop a Solution and Action Plan
Step 3. Identify the Root Cause(s) of the Problem
Step 2. Describe the Current Process
Step 1. Define the Problem
Tools (purpose)
Brainstorming (generate lists of ideas)



 

Affinity Diagram (organize into categories)





Nominal Group Technique (prioritizes)



 

Pareto Chart (organizes and presents)



 

Flowchart (document process steps)

 



Interrelationship Digraph (identify root causes)

 


Cause-and-Effect Diagram (identify root causes)
Data Collection (e.g., check sheets, run chart)

Teaming Handbook



 

 

Page 53

NEXT QUESTION:

How do you use each tool?
This is what the section of the handbook is all about.

Teaming Handbook

Page 54

PART 5. ANALYSIS TOOLS
The Seven Steps of Problem Solving maps out how your team
should plan how to accomplish its tasks in a logical, efficient process.
Below you can learn how each analysis tool can help your team proceed
through the steps.
Generate and Brainstorming is used to generate as many ideas
Organize Ideas and solutions as possible. Once all ideas are on the
(steps 1 and 4) table, Affinity Diagramming helps organize the ideas
into meaningful categories.

Prioritize and Select Deciding which idea or problem to work on among
Ideas and Solutions multiple options can sometimes be difficult in a team.
(steps 1 and 4) The Nominal Group Technique can help, and results
can be summarized in a Pareto Chart.

Understand the Current Some projects require that team members
Process and Visualize thoroughly understanding how a process works.
the Future Process Flowcharting is a good way to document a process
(steps 2 and 5) visually so everyone can understand.

Determine the Root Interrelationship Digraphs and Cause-and-Effect
Cause of Problems Diagrams are methodical techniques to help find the
(step 3) source of problems.

Monitor the Solution Once a team determines and implements a solution,
(steps 6 & 7) it must “test it out” by monitoring the impact of the
change. To do so requires collecting and examining
quantitative data.

Teaming Handbook

Page 55

BRAINSTORMING
Brainstorming is a method of idea generation
Criticizing or Sighing used in teams to “storm” a topic with brain
Discourages Team Members
power, resulting in many new and different
from Sharing Ideas—called
“Shell-Tapping” ideas.

The term “brainstorming” is very common, and
we tend to use it correctly as a way to come up
with new ideas. However, it can generate even
more creative ideas if a team follows some
Shell-Tapping Looses Ideas specific guidelines for making an especially
Forever!! safe environment for people to contribute.

Guidelines for Effective Brainstorming
1. Clearly identify the topic to brainstorm.
2. Select a team member to record all ideas.
3. Set a time period to collect ideas (e.g., 3 minutes).
4. Establish ground rules:
 All ideas are accepted.
 No criticism, discussion, or evaluation allowed.
 Everyone participates.
5. Begin generating ideas.
6. Record all ideas, even duplicates.
7. Brainstorm until the team exhausts all ideas or goes
over the allotted time.

Teaming Handbook

Page 56

EXAMPLE: Brainstorming
TOPIC: Uses of a 10-gallon Storage
Container
Example A: List by hand
To Store:
Tools
Potatoes
Picnic supplies
Fertilizer
Pack for trip
Painting supplies

Old clothes
Cleaning supplies
Fishing gear
Drinks
Baby clothes
Tools

Newspapers for recycling
Toys
Kindling wood
Things for car trunk
Shoes
Baby Supplies

Example B: Using Microsoft Visio
Dotted lines should link similar ideas.

Newspapers for
recycling
Baby supplies
Old clothes
Baby clothes

Painting supplies
Picnic supplies

Kindling wood

Gardening tools

Uses for 10-gallon
storage container
Pototoes

Cleaning supplies
Tools
Stuff for car trunk
Fertilizer

Fishing gear

Pack for trip
Toys
Shoes

Drinks

Don’t be surprised if your list is over 30 items long!
Teaming Handbook

Page 57

Team Practice -- Brainstorming
Why do you think brainstorming,
if performed correctly,
is so successful when generating ideas?

Step 1

Each team member writes down as many
uses of a marshmallow as possible in two
minutes.

Step 2

Review the rules for good brainstorming.

Step 3

As a team, brainstorm the many uses of a
marshmallow.

COMPARE:

Step 4

Teaming Handbook

 How many uses did you come up with
by yourself?
 How many uses did you brainstorm as a
team?

Page 58

AFFINITY DIAGRAM
Affinity Diagramming is a simple way of
organizing the long, disorganized list of
brainstormed ideas.

The team develops category names that describe most of the
items and places each idea in the appropriate category.

During this process, the team also deletes duplicate ideas.

EXAMPLE: Affinity Diagram
Uses of 10-Gallon Storage
Container

Kitchen Storage

Outdoor Storage

Travel

Closet Storage

Potatoes

Tools

Things for Trunk

Shoes

Drinks

Fertilizer

Picnic Supplies

Baby Supplies

Cleaning Supplies

Painting Supplies

Kindling Wood

Toys

This example uses the
Organization Chart
tool in Microsoft Visio.
----You can do the same
thing on paper by
hand.
----You can download an
Excel template at:
www.clemson.edu/OTEI/
Resources

Fishing Gear

Newspapers for
Recycling

Teaming Handbook

Old Clothes

Now, instead of 18 items,
you have 4 meaningful
categories.
You have turned a
disorganized list of ideas
into a few “concepts.” It is
easier to discuss and
remember concepts than
it is “items.”

Page 59

NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE
Often a team faces more than one problem. Not all
problems are necessarily equal, and
sometimes a team has data showing
t

that one or two of the problems are more
important or more urgent than the
others. In this case, the team has
to prioritize the most important or
most urgent problems to tackle first.

The Nominal Group Technique can help
a team prioritize problems.

.

In the following example, the team is prioritizing
five problems with pizza quality.

Steps for Nominal Group Technique
 Select a team member to list the five
problems.
 Each team member takes a moment to
prioritize them on his or her own paper.

This technique
includes
everyone’s
opinion.

• The member does this by ranking each
item 1-5, with 5 being the most
important.

 Each team member tells the recorder
his or her ranking for each problem.
 The recorder adds the rankings across
members.
 The highest score is the weighted
opinion of the team.

Teaming Handbook

Page 60

EXAMPLE: Nominal Group Technique

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

Problem with Pizza Quality

Kara

Tom

Steve

Mark

Sally

Henry

TOTALS

Not Enough
Toppings

3

4

1

4

4

3

19

Overcooked

2

2

5

2

2

4

17

Not Cooked
Long Enough

5

3

4

3

5

5

25

Wrong
Toppings

4

5

3

5

1

2

20

Too Much
Cheese

1

1

2

1

3

1

9

It is very clear which pizza quality problem is most important to
the team as a whole.
It is equally clear which problem is the least significant.

What about close scores?
Sometimes this technique ends in a
tie or with two items too close to
identify a clear priority. In this case,
the team may try eliminating the
items with the lowest scores and
repeat the technique on the reduced
number. This usually yields one high
score. PARETO CHART

Teaming Handbook

Page 61

PARETO CHART
Displays Relative A Pareto Chart is a bar graph that summarizes
Importance of Categories
quantifiable information. It is used to compare
quantities.

Visual Information is The Pareto Chart below visually displays the
Easy for Everyone to
results of the Nominal Group Technique on
Understand
problems with pizza quality.

EXAMPLE: Results from Nominal Group Technique
Pizza Quality Problems
30

25

25

20

20

19

17

15

9

10
5
0
Not Cooked
Long Enough

Wrong Toppings

Not Enough
Toppings

Overcooked

Too much
Cheese

 Order bars from greatest to least.
 Use Pareto Charts to summarize actual data as well.
o For example, a team could track the number of pizzas sent
back to the kitchen due to different quality problems and
summarize the results in a Pareto Chart.
Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

Teaming Handbook

Page 62

FLOWCHARTING
Flowcharts highlight A Flowchart is a pictorial representation of all
redundancies, inefficiencies,
the steps, activities, and tasks in a process.
or other needs for change.
Organizations often use flowcharts to find ways
to improve or streamline a process by
combining, reordering, or deleting steps

It is easy to miss steps, so be careful to include
all of them.

On the next pages are examples of a singleprocess flowchart and a cross-functional
flowchart.

It is VERY important
to identify and
include ALL steps in
the process.

Teaming Handbook

Page 63

EXAMPLE A: SINGLE-PROCESS FLOWCHART
Start

PROCESS: Getting up and leaving for school

Turn off
alarm

School
Day?

NO

Ovals show the start
and end of the process

Go back to
sleep

YES

Boxes show the steps

Go to
bathroom;
brush teeth

End

Decision Point asks a
question and has two
answers: YES and NO

NO

Time to
exercise?

YES
Put on
exercise
clothes

Run?

Aerobics?

Bike?

Run

Workout
Tape

A

Exercycle

Sub-processes charted
on another page

NO
Hungry?

YES
A

Prepare
breakfast

Detail is important!
Eat breakfast

B

If you leave out steps, you
will not consider them in
developing a new and better
process.

Get dressed

Collect school
supplies

Have
everything
?

NO
Hunt for
missing items

YES
Leave for
school

End

Teaming Handbook

You can draw a flowchart by hand, or
you can create it on computer using any
one of many programs including Word
and Excel. This flowchart is drawn with
Microsoft Visio.

Page 64

EXAMPLE B: CROSS-FUNCTIONAL FLOWCHART
PROCESS: Developing a Business Plan

Top executives:
Prepare strategic
plan of lowest cost
pizza in town for
young people

Marketing
executives: Locate
parlors near high
school and college
campuses

Sales staff: Hire
college students
from nearby
universities

Production
Accounting and
Information
Systems

General manager:
Purchase raw
materials for pizza
production based
on sales plan

Students:
Trained as
customeroriented servers

Servers: Perform
quality ordertaking

Servers:
Deliver
pizza to
customers

Pizza production
staff: Hire college
students from
nearby universities

Students:
Trained as
pizza
preparation
specialists

Specialists:
Prepare pizza
according to
customer
requirements

Specialists:
Complete
preparation
and baking
process

Accounting staff:
Hire college
accounting majors
as part-time
accountants

Sales

Marketing

Executive
Management

Business Plan Cross-Functional Flow-Chart

Accounting majors:
Trained in operating
accounting system

Servers:
Submit bill to
customer

Accountants: Record
sales and cost of
sales to prepare
income statement

A cross-functional flowchart is a great tool
to show how information travels back and
forth across department lines.

Teaming Handbook

Page 65

Download this Excel
template at:
www.clemson.edu/OT
EI/Resources

INTERRELATIONSHIP DIGRAPH

Examines complex The Interrelationship Digraph explores the causal
relationships
relationships among groups of ideas. This tool is useful
when more than one cause exists for one or more
outcomes—a common situation in the complex real
world. Creating this graphic involves five steps.

EXAMPLE: INTERRELATIONSHIP DIGRAPH
TOPIC: What are the issues related to reducing litter?

Unnecessary
packaging

Lack of respect for
others

Step 1: List the ideas
or concepts.
Lack of awareness
if inpact

Not enough
recepticles

In this example, the
team identifies five
issues related to litter.

Inadequate
penalties

Teaming Handbook

Page 66

Unnecessary
packaging

Lack of respect for
others

Step 2: Relate each pair
of ideas.
For every pair of ideas, ask
“Is there a relationship?”

Lack of awareness
if inpact

Not enough
recepticles

If the answer is yes, then
ask, “Which comes first?”
Then draw an arrow
showing the direction.

Inadequate
penalties

Bottleneck

Lack of respect for
others

Bottleneck
B ttl
k

Step 3: Count the arrows.

1 IN; 2 OUT

2 IN; 1 OUT

Unnecessary
packaging

For every idea, count how many
arrows point to it and how many
arrows come out from it.

Lack of awareness
if inpact

Catalyst

Not enough
recepticles

2 IN; 2 OUT

4 IN; 0 OUT

Inadequate
penalties

Driver

Step 4: Label the results.
Use the table below to label
the results.

0 IN; 4 OUT

Driver
Outcome
Bottleneck
Catalyst

Teaming Handbook

Outcome

Largest number of outgoing arrows
Largest number of incoming arrows
More incoming than outgoing arrows
More outgoing than incoming arrows; or
an equal number in and out

Page 67

Step 5: Interpret the Results.
Question: What are the issues related to reducing litter?
In this example, “inadequate penalties” appears to be the main driver and has a
causal effect on other factors, such as “lack of awareness of impact” and “not
enough receptacles.” The driver is a good place to start in order to change the
outcomes.
The final outcome of these factors is “not enough receptacles.” The incoming
arrows indicate that reasons for not having enough receptacles include
“unnecessary packaging,” “lack of respect of others,” “lack of awareness of
impact,” and “inadequate penalties.”
“Lack of respect for others” and “unnecessary resources” are bottlenecks,
meaning that these two factors will potentially require more resources and time
to change.
The catalyst, “lack of awareness of impact,” is an important but manageable
factor.

The Interrelationship Digraph
is a very good tool for sorting
out and examining complex
ideas and relationships.

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CAUSE-AND-EFFECT DIAGRAM
The Cause-and-Effect Diagram is a logical
It Is Too Easy to “Settle” for
method for identifying the root causes of a
an Easy Cause Too Soon
problem.

The success of this method depends on your
Take Your Time to Find as
following two rules: 1) Be very specific in
Many Causes as
Possible defining the problem. Being too broad will make
it difficult to come up with causes.
2) Ask “Why?” at least five times.
Start your Cause-and-Effect Diagram by drawing a “fishbone,” as shown below.
The head of the fish is the problem statement. Draw four main bones off the
backbone. Label each with one of the “4 M’s.”
“4 M’s”
Most causes will
Material
Method
fall within these
four categories:





Material
Method
Machine
Manpower

Problem
Statement

Machine

Manpower

In this example, your team operates a business that buys plain ball caps, stitches
logos on them, and resells them at ball games. Recently, sales have dropped,
and that is your problem.

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First, put the problem statement at the head of your fishbone.

Material

Method

First job
Didn’t know how

Be very specific
with the
problem
statement

New to the business
Inadequate Market Research

Unpopular Design

Sales
Dropping

Machine

Manpower

Next, use the “5 WHY” process. Here’s a “Material” example:
1. Why are sales dropping?
 Because our logo design is unpopular.
2. Why is it an unpopular design?
 Because we did inadequate market research.
3. Why did we do inadequate market research?
 Because we didn’t know how to do it.
4. Why didn’t we know how to do the research?
 Because we are new to the business.
5. Why are we new?
 It’s our first job.

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Continue asking “why” until your team adds as many bones to
the fish as possible.

Method

Material

First job
Didn’t know how
Cheaper

New to the business

Didn’t know the dates
Good spaces were taken

Cheaper than others
Inadequate Market Research

Unpopular Design

Late applying for space

Fades

Cut a good deal
Sales booth in wrong place

Fabric is weak
Quality complaints

Not enough money
Bought used machine
Not in good repair
Lack of training

Not enough people
Machine is older

Not enough money
Too many hours

Machine is faulty

Sewers make mistakes
Not trained well

Stitching breaks

Stitching Breaks

Machine

Manpower

Then step back and look at your fishbone. Do any causes keep repeating? Is
there a cluster with many more causes than others?
In this example, “stitching breaks” is both a material and a manpower problem.
So it is a good place to start to working on the problem of sales dropping.

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Sales
Dropping

DATA COLLECTION
Collect and analyze data whenever possible.
Collect Data for
The type of data and your collection method
Solving Problems
depend on the purpose of the analysis.
Possible methods include interviews,
observations, surveys, and databases.

Collect Data When analyzing a process, you will want to
to Evaluate
collect data on the frequency of and the
the Success of
Your Change reasons for problems (like returned pizzas). If
you intend to improve a process, you will want
to collect these data (‘data’ is a Latin plural
word) both before your team makes a change
AND afterwards to see how well your change
solves the problem.
Use Check Sheets A simple way to collect data is with a Check
to Count Occurrences
Sheet, as illustrated below.

CHECK SHEET
Reasons for pizzas returned to kitchen in one week
Categories

Frequency of Occurrence

Wrong order

||||

||||

||

12

Burned

||||

||||

||||

Too late

||||

||

Crust not cooked

||||

Check Sheets help
identify the
problems to
address first.

14
7
4

GRAND TOTAL

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DATA COLLECTION
Another smart way to use data is to look for
trends over time or across different locations.
Sometimes a single occurrence may not tell the
story, but several occurrences will reveal a
pattern.

The Run Chart below shows improvement in
reducing the costs of produce spoilage.

Costs

RUN CHART
Daily Produce Spoilage Costs
300
275
250
225
200
175
150
125
100
3/1/05
Actual

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3/2/05
Average

3/3/05

3/4/05

3/5/05

3/6/05

3/7/05

Date

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Pareto Charts are also used to visually display
the data collected. The chart below
summarizes data from customer complaint
cards at a pizza restaurant. It makes it easy to
identify the more frequent types of complaints.

Pareto Charts were explained on page 65.

PARETO CHART
Reasons for Customer Complaints - Pizza Pizzaz
Tables are not clean
Too expensive
Facilities are not clean
Staff is impolite
Pizza is burned
Pizza is not what is ordered
Wait too long for table
0

2

4

6

8

10

If you compare your before-change and after-change data, and you
find they look too much the same, then you know that your solution
did not adequately solve the problem. Don’t quit! Try another change
and collect data again to measure its effect. Real-world problems
usually have multiple causes and call for multiple solutions!

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12

PART 6.
WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG
Effective teams have a shared understanding of the team’s goals, and the team
members consistently move together towards those goals. The best way to
ensure that your team has this shared understanding is to make sure that you
have paid attention to the basics:

Organizing your team:








Did you establish Ground Rules?
Have you talked about everyone’s expectations?
Did you talk about the facilitator, recorder, and team member roles?
Has the team included everyone in these discussions?
Do you know what player styles are on the team?
Have you discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the team?
Did you identify which skills everyone contributes?

Focusing meetings:








Does the team draft an agenda at the prior meeting?
Does the team use meeting summaries?
Was the meeting summary distributed promptly?
Did everyone participate at meetings?
What decision techniques have you used? Did everyone participate?
Does everyone come prepared?
Does the meeting end when it should?

Keeping projects on track:
 Did the team develop a project plan?
 Did the team use a milestone chart to spread out responsibilities and
establish due dates?

Absolutely the BEST way to avoid problems is to develop an environment
where team members are comfortable expressing opinions.
The BEST way to do that is to use the team organizational tools
effectively.

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Team Dysfunctions**
Sometimes teams unknowingly fall victim to at least some of these five
team dysfunctions. These problems are not separate but are interrelated.

1. Absence of Trust Team members who don’t feel free to be open with
one another will not feel comfortable expressing
ideas and opinions.
2. Fear of Conflict Teams lacking trust are not capable of having an
honest debate about ideas. Instead they “back off’
and don’t pursue the discussion.
3. Lack of Commitment When team members hold back in their
discussions due to a fear of conflict, then they will
not fully buy in or commit to team decisions, even
though they seem to agree.
4. Avoidance of When some team members do not fully commit,
Accountability
others hesitate to mention when their behaviors
appear counterproductive.
5. Inattention to Results When team members fail to hold each other
accountable for results, they put their own needs
before those of the team. This usually results in
lower team performance.

Adapted from The FIVE Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (2002).

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Let’s turn it around and look on the positive side!
1. If team members trust one another;
2. They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas;
3. They commit to decisions and plans of action;
4. They hold one another accountable for delivering
against those plans;
5. They focus on the achievement of collective
results.

Question:
How do you know if your team suffers
from any of the five dysfunctions?

Answer:
Ask your team members to answer
the following 15 questions and then
discuss the results.

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TEAM ASSESSMENT**
Instructions: Use the scale below to indicate how each statement applies to
your team. It is important to evaluate the statements honestly and without overthinking your answers.
3 = Usually
2 = Sometimes
1 = Rarely
1.

Team members are passionate and unguarded in their discussion of issues.

2.

Team members call out one another’s deficiencies and unproductive behaviors.

3.

Team members know what their peers are working on and how they contribute to
the collective good of the team.

4.

Team members quickly and genuinely apologize to one another when they say or
do something inappropriate or possibly damaging to the team.

5.

Team members willingly make sacrifices, such as time and effort, for the good of the
team.

6.

Team members openly admit their weaknesses and mistakes.

7.

Team meetings are compelling and not boring.

8.

Team members leave meetings confident that their peers are completely committed
to the decisions that were agreed on, even if there was initial disagreement.

9.

Morale is significantly affected by the failure to achieve team goals.

10.

During team meetings, the most important—and difficult—issues are put on the
table to be resolved.

11.

Team members are deeply concerned about the prospect of letting down their
peers.

12.

Team members know about one another’s personal lives and are comfortable
discussing them.

13.

Team members end discussions with clear and specific resolutions and calls to
action.

14.

Team members challenge one another about their plans and approaches.

15.

Team members are slow to seek credit for their own contributions, but quick to point
out those of others.

** This assessment was developed by Patrick Lencioni (2002) and can be found in The FIVE
Dysfunctions of a Team.

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Scoring: Place your scores for the preceding statements as indicated
below.
Absence
of Trust

Fear of
Conflict

Lack of
Avoidance of Inattention
Commitment Accountability to Results

#4:

#1:

#3:

#2:

#5:

#6:

#7:

#8:

#11:

#9:

#12:

#10:

#13:

#14:

#15:

TOTAL:

TOTAL:

TOTAL:

TOTAL:

TOTAL:

Results: A score of . . .


8 or 9 is a probable indication that this dysfunction is not a problem for your
team.



6 or 7 indicates that the dysfunction could be a problem.



3 to 5 is probably an indication that the dysfunction needs to be addressed.

Now that you have an idea which
of the five dysfunctions of a team
seem to be a problem . . .

What do you do now?
The next section describes each dysfunction
and suggests ways to overcome each one.

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1. Absence of Trust

Members of teams with an absence of trust . . .









Conceal their weaknesses and mistakes from one another.
Hesitate to task for help or provide constructive feedback.
Hesitate to offer help outside their own areas of responsibility.
Jump to conclusions about the intents and aptitudes of others without
attempting to clarify them.
Fail to recognize and tap into one another’s skills and experiences.
Waste time managing their behaviors for effect.
Hold grudges.
Dread meetings and find reasons to avoid spending time together.

Members of trusting teams . . .










Admit weaknesses and mistakes.
Ask for help.
Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility.
Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a negative
conclusion.
Take risks in offering feedback and assistance.
Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences.
Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics.
Offer and accept apologies without hesitation.
Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group.

Suggestions for developing trust:
1. Get to know each other better: Take 30-60 minutes to share personal
histories, such as hometown, number of siblings, hobbies, majors,
hardest classes, and most fun classes. Team members begin to relate
to one another better when they find common ground.
2. Discuss your Team Player profiles: Complete the Team Player
Questionnaire and talk about the results. Have each team member
share one thing that he or she does well and one thing that he or she
may need help with.

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2. Fear of Conflict

Teams that fear conflict . . .






Have boring meetings.
Create environments where politics and personal attacks thrive.
Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success.
Fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members.
Waste time and energy with posturing and interpersonal risk management.

Teams that engage in conflict . . .






Have lively, interesting meetings.
Extract and exploit the ideas of all team members.
Solve real problems quickly.
Minimize politics.
Put critical topics on the table for discussion.

The first step is for the team to recognize
that productive conflict is good!

Suggestions for promoting productive conflict:
1. Remind the team that avoiding conflict is natural, but it is not the way to
come up with the best ideas and solutions.
2. Ask someone to play the devil’s advocate—that is, to take the opposite
view and talk about its merits.

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3. Lack of Commitment

A team that fails to commit . . .






Creates ambiguity within the team about direction and priorities.
Lets windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and
unnecessary delay.
Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure.
Revisits discussions and decisions again and again.
Encourages second-guessing among team members.

A team that commits . . .







Creates clarity around direction and priorities.
Aligns the entire team around common objectives.
Develops an ability to learn from mistakes
Takes advantage of opportunities before competitors do.
Moves forward without hesitation.
Changes direction without hesitation or guilt.

The two greatest causes of the lack of commitment are:
1. the desire for consensus, and
2. the need for certainty.
Suggestions for developing commitment:
1. Maximize clarity: At the end of each meeting, review the key decisions
made during the meeting, including the actions to be taken.
2. Clarify deadlines: Tie down interim deadlines and responsibilities using
a milestone chart. These are just as important as the final due date.
3. Develop a “worse-case” scenario: Sometimes teams hesitate to make
decisions because they are not sure of outcomes. Talk about the worstcase scenario of the decision. This helps the team to see that even an
incorrect decision is survivable.

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4. Avoidance of Accountability

A team that avoids accountability . . .





Creates resentment among team members who have different standards
of performance.
Encourages mediocrity.
Misses deadlines and key deliverables.
Places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of
discipline.

A team that holds one another accountable . . .





Ensures that poor performers feel pressure to improve.
Identifies potential problems quickly by questioning one another’s
approaches without hesitation.
Establishes respect among team members by holding them all to the same
high standards.
Avoids excessive bureaucracy around performance management and
corrections.

Suggestions for developing accountability:
1. Review progress toward team goals progress: Make it a point at each
meeting to review the team goals, ground rules, and expectations. It is
important to keep the goals in the open so that they are hard to avoid.
2. Regularly review progress: Take time in your meetings to let all the
members report on their progress. Do they need help? Will they meet
the deadline for their task? Are they running into problems the team
can alleviate? A little team pressure goes a long way!

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5. Inattention to Results

A team that is not focused on results . . .






Stagnates and fails to grow.
Does not perform well.
Misses deadlines.
Is easily distracted.
Is more concerned about individual goals.

A team that focuses on collective results . . .





Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely.
Avoids distractions.
Meets its goals.
Delivers on time.

Suggestions for focusing on results: .
1. Stay focused on task: Make sure the team uses the organizational and
analysis tools that will help stay them focused (e.g., milestone chart,
project plan).
2. Celebrate meeting deadlines: Find something the team can do together
when members reach an important milestone in their project (e.g., go
for pizza, watch a game, or go to a movie). Celebrating milestones
promotes a trusting environment, makes members feel good about
their progress, and encourages them to work towards the next goal.

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PART 7: REFERENCES
________. Fortune Magazine (June 12, 2006). (Entire issue devoted to teams).
Avery, C. (2001). Teamwork Is an Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done When
Sharing Responsibility. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Brassard, M., C. Field, F. Oddo, B. Page, D. Ritter, and L. Smith. (2000). The
Problem Solving Memory Jogger: Seven Steps to Improved Processes. Salem,
NH: GOAL/QPC.
Hutchens, D. (1999). Shadows of the Neanderthal: Illuminating the Beliefs That
Limit Our Organizations. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications.
Lawler, E. E., Mohrman, S. A., & Benson, G. (2001). Organizing for High
Performance. San Francisco: Josey-Bass.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The FIVE Dysfunctions of a Team. San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Maginn, M. D. (1994). Effective Teamwork. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professional
Publishing.
Parker, G. M. (1996). Team Players and Teamwork. San Francisco: John Wiley
& Sons.
Useem, J. (2006). What's That Spell? TEAMWORK! Fortune. 153.11: 64.

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