Thursday, September 4, 2008

Team Performance

Below the organization or department level, performance can be viewed at the team level. Basically, this is a view of the team leader's individual performance. If the leader is effective then the team should excel in each of these areas. The questions around team performance are the same as those for project management. How effective is this group at getting their work done?

Integration - are all team resources such as hardware, software, chemicals, etc., coordinated properly?
Quality - is the team meeting the agreed-upon quality requirements? Metrics include quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control.
Schedule - is work completed in a timely manner? Metrics include activity sequencing, resource planning, activity duration estimating, and work schedule development and control.
Cost - are approved budgets being met? Metrics include resource estimating, cost estimating, and cost monitoring and control.
Risk - have issues that may or do inhibit performance been identified and proactively tackled? The team should identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with factors such as new technology, very tight time constraints, lack of availability of skilled resources, and customer readiness for the team’s work.
Communication/Information - does the team generate appropriate information and disseminate it in a timely manner to team members, management, and other stakeholders to ensure that their expectations are consistent with the realities of the team’s progress or results?
Organizational Impact - how effectively does the team identify and plan for organizational changes that may or should occur?
People - is the team effectively led? Does the team's boss provide effective leadership and management of the team, including organizational planning, staff acquisition, conflict management, and team development?
Procurement - how effectively does the team manage the processes required to acquire goods and services from outside and inside the company? Metrics include procurement planning, RFP preparation, source selection, and contract negotiation and administration.

Organizational objectives can be cascaded down to a team in similar language, but if you are only measuring a team's performance these generic categories can be very useful. Exact metrics depend on what the function of the team is and how they operate. Hopefully, these nine categories provide some structure for setting up team objectives.

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