It is worth noting that when the team nears the completion of a particular project, people often tend to get excited and forget the final stage of the project lifecycle, which is the closure. The stage involves two connected activities in the form of the assessment and action planning for learning and improvement. The team may take various available approaches for the assessment and action planning. Here we carry out the assessment in a tabular manner where the team process is located on one left side and the assessment and points for improvement are situated on the other side.
|Team Process||Assessment and Improvement|
• Are there adequate opportunities for idea generation, development, finalization and closure, and evaluation?
• Is there an appropriate balance of periods for the team to work together, work apart, and then work together again?
• Is the chosen leadership structure optimal for guiding the team in its path toward creative results?
The team utilizes various collaboration tools for communications where each group member gets a chance to air out his/her ideas. The modular leadership structure employed where each member is given his/her own detailed tasks by the team leader ensures that tasks are divided depending on the strengths of individuals, therefore, ensuring maximum development of the task.
The team also adopted a rotation style leadership role structure, thereby everybody had a chance to lead and implement anything that he/she felt had been left out. The chosen leadership structure qualifies as an optimal structure for propelling the team towards success. This is because tasks are clearly defined for every individual; hence, ensuring that no single member is burdened with tasks, while the others are given less to do. Besides, everybody is given a chance to lead. However, there need to have a better and well-outlined schedule for periods that define intervals when the team should work together. This is very important because the modular design advocates for individuals working alone. Working together is important in that it enables the team members to discuss the problems everyone is facing and solve them together.
• Does the team have adequate procedures and forums for establishing task connection?
• Does the team have ways to build and maintain the interpersonal connection?
• Are the appropriate team and management conditions and competencies present?
The team has taken steps to ensure a supportive team climate. Task connection is established through creative tension where group members challenge each other’s ideas and contribute in a constructive manner by trying to understand each other’s viewpoint rather than just disagreeing. Challenging tasks also present a good chance for task connection by forcing members to put their minds together and collaborate towards solving them.
Interpersonal connections are strengthened by supporting each other and giving everybody his/her freedom to work without micromanagement. The team has been able to foster a working environment with the appropriate management conditions given that the team has an organizational chart where each member has been given a role from the director to the lead coordinators. Besides, everybody is contented with his role and this goes a long way in ensuring the effectiveness of the team. Each team member was sensitized on the importance of accountability, everybody was confident of each other’s competence to accomplish the tasks assigned, and this improves interdependence. Goals were also clearly outlined and connection barriers dealt with. (Ting, 2013) In fact, there is room for improvement towards the creation of a better team climate. The team may gain from implementing team building activities, which will ensure that the team members spend time together. This builds trust, which is the pillar of success in teams.
• Does the team have an agreed-upon personalized communication plan in place to specify the communication tools used, the frequency of the use of those tools, and the purpose for which they are used?
• Does the team make relevant use of collaboration tools?
The team employed various technological tools based on the needs and desires of the team as Falconer (n.d) advice, in order to establish a stable communication plan. A team calendar was put in place to keep everything on track by ensuring everybody is on the same page and going by the schedule-mails were set up to enhance sharing of documents and communication. Threaded discussions ensure that team members work together and air out any changes they might want to implement. Dropbox ensured that all resources were accessible in one repository as well as ensure changes done are accessible immediately to the whole team. FaceTime was used to foster interpersonal connections and gain trust. Skype provided an avenue where all members are involved in enabling all members to share their input on a document while one person incorporates the changes. Video teleconferencing provided room for further teamwork, communication, and trust since it makes use of verbal and nonverbal cues, such as the use of facial expressions and gestures. Through all these tools it is clear that communication was well covered.
|Norms and Procedures:
• Does the team have agreed-upon communication norms that guide its communication behavior?
• Does the team have an agreed-upon set of norms to assist in the management and accomplishment of the team project and tasks?
Norms outline and provide guidance on individual behavior in a team environment. Norms help a lot in the creation of the trust. The team agreed upon various communication norms to guide on how information should be shared and distributed within the group. Team members agreed that meetings should start and end on time to prevent time wastage. Therefore, anybody who is late puts it upon his or her own hands to catch up with what they have missed.
It was also agreed that emails would be used to inform, alert and share documents. It is important to agree upon one channel of communication for various tasks in order to ensure that communications reach everybody. “To” on email lists was used purposely to show who is supposed to open and take action with regard to a particular email while members on the “cc” list were aware that they were not meant to take any action with regard to the email.
Scheduled meetings were based on a universal mode of communication; for example, teleconferencing depending on the nature and importance of the meeting. Everybody was also required to be an active participant in meetings.
• Does the team have procedures in place for capturing knowledge for later assessment and learning?
• Does the team set aside adequate time to review actively and assess its work and subsequently learn from this assessment?
As the project nears its completion, there is always need for continuous improvement. The team put in place procedures for the final stage of the project, which is the “closure.” Closure entails an assessment, which is done by filling this particular table and an action plan for later stages. The assessment entails answering questions regarding the crucial stages of the project and determining whether the stages were followed to the letter as well as providing suggestions for improvement. The action plan is the second part of closure and involves coming up with an action plan for further improvement. During the progress of the project, the team is exposed to various challenges some anticipated, while others were not. The action plan includes provisions for what should be done differently to cover the challenges faced in the next project.
From the above plan, it is clear that closure is an important stage of the project lifecycle and should never be overlooked. From the assessment, which is the first section of closure, we realize that the team took the various team processes seriously and were able to cover them. However, just like any other project, new projects are faced with new challenges. Therefore, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, some processes such as balancing the time for the team to work together and the creation of a better team climate can be improved further as advised in the assessment.