How to evaluate team performance and effectiveness?
From the time I meet with a team until the time we achieve or come close enough to the understood goal to stop, this is something we wonder about.
Few tasks have clear right and wrong answers. Even when teams have specific output, quality, and time frame measures that do not reflect upon effectiveness.
A team can burnout performing a task, under-utilize or damage cross-functional-relationships to get the task complete … we can’t call that effective.
3 dimensions of team effectiveness
1. How well the team’s output meets the quality, quantity, and time frame of the people who receive, review or use that output
When a team generates an output that is totally unacceptable to the client, that team is not effective – no matter how hard the team tried or their evaluation of the product.
How teams are viewed as effective is more often based upon someone outside the team than any objective performance measure.
We must identify who the clients(s) or customer(s) are of the team to evaluate effectiveness.
2. How the process of doing the work increased and decreased the desire of team members to work together interdependently in the future
Some teams work in a way which makes it impossible for people to work together again, for example, mutual rancor could become so high that people choose collective failure rather than sharing knowledge or resources with each other. In other teams people become highly skilled at working together, resulting in performance that becomes increasingly better over time.
We must examine whether capability as a team increases or decreases over time to evaluate effectiveness.
3. The amount to which the team experience contributes to the growth and personal well-being of team members
Some teams operate in ways that block the development of individual members and make people feel their personal needs are not relevant to the team’s success. Others provide team members with ample opportunities for learning and satisfaction. Even when the purpose of the team has nothing to do with personal development, the impact of team experience on the individual impacts team effectiveness.
We must observe how the team’s work creates an opportunity for growth and well-being of the individual to evaluate team effectiveness.
Determining the effectiveness of a team involves more than counting outputs. We must consider social and personal criteria, plus the complexity of task performance dependent upon the customers, fellow co-workers, and environment of the team itself.