Discuss about the Influencing and Making Decisions.
Effective teamwork is fundamental in today’s world. The aim of this report is to develop a virtual team and establish processes so that it is easier to make team decisions. This report is a reflection of the processes on team formation and decision making. Observations are made on the basis of own experiences and is supported with extensive literature review (Anderson et al. 2013). A brief idea about team, virtual team, facilitator and effective decision making is provided. The assumptions while forming the team is also stated. Further, various models are discussed and rationale for choosing one is provided. The application, benefits and drawbacks are stated for a better analysis.
Team- A team can be defined as a group of people assembled together for achieving or accomplishing a task or project together. The team members have a strong mutual commitment for ensuring success (Parke, Campbell and Bartol 2014).
Virtual team- A virtual team can be defined as the group made of people present in different geographical locations. These team members rely on communication technology such as voice or video conferencing (Hoch and Kozlowski, 2014).
Decision- A decision can be defined as a choice that is made between alternative courses of action in presence of uncertainty. Every situation might have more than one possibility and a choice made after considering them is termed as decision (Hoch and Kozlowski, 2014).
Effective decision making- Effective decision making can be defined as a process of selecting through alternatives and managing it to achieve the objectives. The effective decision result from a systematic process that is handled in a series of steps (Fransen, Weinberger and Kirschner 2013).
Every team has certain assumptions such as they have a common goal that is well-defined in nature. It is further assumed that a team has more than two members for jointly achieving the goal. Every team has a shared understanding while they work towards achieving the goal. It is also assumed that the team members have trust and integrity (Schjoedt et al. 2012).
Team Start-Up Models
Types of Models
Starting up or developing a team is an important part of the job as it helps in leading the team effectively. The two models which can be considered while starting up a team are described as under:
Tuckman Team Development Model
Dr Bruce Tuckman formed a model for developing a team which explains that a team develops and establishes maturity. The model has four stages- forming, storming, norming and performing. In the first stage, there is very less agreement among the team members. In the second stage, the decisions are difficult to make as conflict in opinion arises (Mathieu et al. 2015). The teams have to work hard and not lose their focus. In the third stage, there is agreement and consensus among the team members and roles are clear. In the fourth stage, the team members realize their performance level. They focus on over-achieving their goals. The model is beneficial in creating a more productive, integrated and performing team (Zimmermann 2011).
Allan Drexler and David Sibbet developed a model comprising of seven strategies for optimizing team effort. The first stage is orientation in which the team identifies a task together which they find beneficial. The second stage is trust building in which the people are clear on their roles and responsibilities for establishing a better understanding. The third stage is goal clarification in which a shared vision is identified so that the conflicts can be addressed and resolved (McGrath and Bates 2013). The fourth stage is commitment in which the team members own or disown their responsibilities. The fifth stage is implementation in which timing and schedule is focused with the help of work plans or other management tools. The sixth stage is high performance in which the team members spend time and effort to deliver higher outcomes. The last stage is renewal in which every team member is expected to reflect as to what worked out and what did not (Kohn and O'Connell 2014).
The Tuckman’s model is chosen for team development. This was chosen because it helped the group members in understanding the development process. The stages of growth are predetermined in this model that helped in recognizing the type of situations for which the team members could gain competitive advantage. In a virtual team or a temporary working group, group dynamics need to be recognized easily. Tuckman’s model is simple to understand that makes the complexity of group dynamics. The model is selected as going through extensive literature and journal articles; Tuckman’s model was used by most organizations while forming a team. The model is beneficial in creating a more productive, integrated and performing team. Moreover, Drexler/Sibbet Model has multiple stages and is a time consuming process (Halverson and Tirmizi 2013).
Application of Model
The model was applied using Google Docs. Google Docs is an online word processor that allows viewing and editing the documents at the same time. The collaborators or team members were connected to Google Drive. The link was shared among all team members so that they could edit and make changes in the document (Holzner and Holzner 2012). In the first stage of Tuckman’s Model, the individuals were brought together and assembled as a team. The team members had positive expectations from the project while some were anxious about the same. The team members clarified the mission and behaved independent of each other by stressing on scope of task, way of approach and potential challenges and opportunities (Mathieu et al. 2015).
In the second stage, the views of team members were expressed strongly. Discussions were made for addressing the differences. The issues that shall really be solved by the project were discussed. The team members were jockeying for the positions clarified and there was enhancement in relationships (Halverson and Tirmizi 2013). The third stage was all about resolving differences and focusing more on achieving goals or mission. The team members were learning more about each other and setting team values, problem-solving process, setting team values. The team was aware of the competition and they started tolerating whims of other team members. In the fourth stage, work was delegated and benefits were brought to the team project. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader (Mathieu et al. 2015).
The first stage-forming went well as clear directions and structure was provided to build a strong relationship. The team members were in their best behaviour and everyone took initiatives and contributed towards discussing the scope of the project. The focus of the team members was on the task to be performed. The team members experienced an enhancement in active listening skills. The third stage helped in transforming the attitudes and there was feeling of cohesion, harmony, mutual respect and trust. There was increase in productivity when the team reached the third stage. Morale is high and the general atmosphere is positive. Team members' attitudes are characterized by positive feelings and eagerness to be part of the team. Members are confident about the outcome, enjoy open communication, exhibit high energy, and disagreement is expected and allowed as long as it is channelled through means acceptable to the team (Beatty and Scott 2012).
In the first stage, as every team member was putting efforts to be accepted by other team members, serious issues such as non-routine issues were being avoided. There were circumstances when the team members felt reluctant to build relationships for a successful team. There were situations when the team members faced a decline in morale. There were signs of conflict appearing in the second stage of application of Tuckman’s model. There was wastage in time as the team members spent a huge amount of time in unnecessary or less important issues. Another issue was that while preventing conflict, the team members were reluctant to share issues controversial in nature (Lewis 2011).
Teams can achieve more than each team member individually. Being part of a high-performance team can be extremely rewarding, but it requires time and commitment to get to that stage. The Tuckman Model of team development was chosen for starting up the team. The model was effective as it was divided into four stages which made the team deliver exceptional results. There was excitement optimism associated with this model of team development. The tools were effective and there was shared understanding while they worked towards achieving the goal. There was trust and integrity among the team members. However, there were situations when the team members faced a decline in morale. There was wastage in time as the team members spent a huge amount of time in unnecessary or less important issues. The model is beneficial in creating a more productive, integrated and performing team.
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