What determines the difference between an average team, and one that becomes high performing?
Most important is the ability of the team to assess its performance, reflect on itself and then take action, which can be accelerated through regular team effectiveness reviews. These review can be as simple as the team taking the time to ask itself some simple questions:
- What is working well?
- What could be working better?
- What actions can we take to improve the team’s effectiveness on this project?
The critical aspect is to create a feedback loop for the team, so that it continuously improves its effectiveness.
Additional Resources: Project Retrospectives, by Norman Kerth, described how teams can conduct effective After-Action Reviews. One of the most important aspects of these reviews is his Prime Directive:
“Regardless of what we discover, we must understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job he or she could, give what was know at the time, his or her skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand”
This is used to enable everyone to be honest, to express difficult issues and avoid the post-mortem becoming a blame-game.