Measuring Team Effectiveness
At the most rudimentary level, an effective team is defined as one that has impact above and beyond the individual contributions of any one team member. This ‘above and beyond impact’ can be measured at multiple levels: Intangible Performance, Structural & Relational Metrics, and Business Results.
Intangible Performance is the ‘gut feel’ that results when a team begins to work better together – ‘we are anticipating each others needs’ – ‘everyone is pulling their weight’ – ‘I feel like I can push back without hurting feelings’ – ‘we aren’t wasting each other’s time anymore’ – ‘everyone seems to be addressing the same priorities’. Our experience suggests that these intangible impacts are what really drive teams and team members to want to improve because they not only contribute to more tangible effects they also lead to increased personal reward and satisfaction.
Structural & Relational Metrics provide a level of objectivity into how and why a team is performing like it is and serve as predictors of the achievement of a team’s business results. Team Coaching International’s (TCI’s) validated team diagnostic instrument establishes a baseline based on 14 productivity and positivity competencies.
Using common everyday language, the team diagnostic assess team performance from two perspectives: (1) What results is the team achieving? and (2) How is the team achieving these results? More than 1,000 teams of all types and sizes have used TCI’s team diagnostic with outstanding results. In fact, TCI calculates a 44% aggregate improvement in team performance when comparing the highest performing teams after going through a team development process with average teams before the process.
Improving Business Results is the ultimate objective of forming a team in the first place and an intentional effort should always be taken upon formation to identify the specific purpose and business goals of a team. Surprisingly enough this important task is often overlooked. Teams must be challenged to determine the metrics (not just the tasks) it will use to measure short- and long-term success and periodically evaluate the productivity and positivity metrics described above to ensure they are working well as a team system.
Building effective teams can be time consuming and resource intensive. To ensure that teams are set up for success it is absolutely essential that time and thought are put into a measurement framework that enables teams to formally and informally monitor and track progress.