Team Performance Management: Guidelines and Resources

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    Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

    Strongly Suggested Previous Reading

    Performance Management: Traditional and Progressive Approaches

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    (Although the term “performance” is conventionally used in literature about management, some people might have an adverse reaction to that term. For them, they might use the term “effectiveness” instead.)

    Many of us have worked in groups where all of the members were focused on the same goals — they were teams. If a team was in the workplace, then it probably had a supervisor. The supervisor might not have been a team member but was responsible for being sure the team was doing a good job in achieving its goals (it was showing strong performance).

    Ideally, the goals were clear to all of us because they were written down (but that is not always the case). We worked toward the goals, always monitoring how well we were doing in achieving them.

    We sometimes changed what we were doing in order to achieve our goals in an even more effective and efficient manner. Usually, that cycle of activities recurred until the goals were achieved and perhaps the team no longer was needed. The cycle that we are doing is called team performance management. We will define it a bit more clearly in the next section.

    A team is essentially an organization — it is a system. It has a recurring set of activities, all aimed toward a common purpose (mission) and goals. A department or business unit in an organization could be thought of as a team. So most of the practices of organizational performance management apply to team performance management, as well.

    Just like an overall organization, when a team gets started (that is, when it is in its first life cycle), it often does not have strong, internal practices about effectively and efficiently achieving goals (about achieving strong performance).

    As the team continues to evolve, it becomes even more important to have more effective internal systems. Otherwise, the members experience increasing frustrations about not getting things done and confusion about who is doing what and by whom. So they focus on making their performance management practices even stronger.

    Note that team performance management usually refers to the cycle of activities to enhance the performance of a team that has had at least several meetings. The activities to first develop the team are often referred to as team building. The activities to manage each meeting are about meeting management. The activities to guide and support the members’ activities during a meeting are referred to as facilitation.

    What is Team Performance Management?

    We are used to thinking of ongoing performance management for employees, for example, setting goals, monitoring an employee’s achievement of those goals, sharing feedback with the employee, evaluating the employee’s performance, and then rewarding the employee’s performance or guiding the employee to improve performance. That performance management process is similar to that used in teams and organizations, as well.

    Team performance management involves recurring activities to establish team goals, monitor progress toward the goals, and make adjustments to achieve those goals more effectively and efficiently. From a systems perspective, the overall goal of team performance management is to ensure that the team and all of its members are working together in an optimum fashion to achieve the results desired by the supervisor of the team.

    Those recurring activities are much of what leaders and managers inherently do in their organizations — some of them do it far better than others. So team performance management should be a standard, ongoing management practice. The process is somewhat aligned with a well-done strategic planning process and the implementation of that strategic plan.

    General Guidelines for Implementing and Evaluating the Process

    There are some standard guidelines that can ensure the success of any implementation of any performance management process. Be sure to read and follow those guidelines, especially if this is your first implementation of a comprehensive process. The guidelines also can be useful if you are trying to improve a process that you have already implemented.

    Three Phases of Team Performance Management

    The three phases are highly integrated and include:

    Next, see
    Team Performance Planning Phase

    Suggested Additional Readings

    Numerous Resources About Groups

    How to Work With Groups

    Broad Background

    Other Performance Management Applications

    Other Articles

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Organizational Performance

    In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to organizations. Scan down the blog’s page to see various posts. Also, see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “Next” near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

    For the Category of Organizational Development:

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