Skip to main content

New Team? Take the Time to Align To Avoid Team Disaster

April 23, 2024 7:00 am

Navigating Team Formation: The Importance of Alignment by Nikita Wilson

As Michael Goldman, President and Founder of Facilitation shares in this Startwell Podcast, a team that neglects the crucial process of forming properly exposes itself to a myriad of perils that can jeopardize the success of the entire group or project they lead. One significant risk is the lack of clear communication and understanding among team members. Without a proper formation phase where roles, responsibilities, and expectations are clarified, team members may struggle to comprehend their individual contributions, leading to confusion, conflict, and a breakdown in collaboration.

What are the possible consequences of lack of clarity on the team?

  • duplicated efforts, missed deadlines, and a general sense of disarray within the team
  • lack of trust and cohesion
  • lack of engagement, burnout or turnover

In the absence of a strong team bond, individuals may become reluctant to seek help or provide constructive feedback, hindering the team’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges. Ultimately, a team that does not take the time to form properly puts itself at risk of diminished productivity, increased conflicts, and a compromised ability to achieve project goals.

Team Chartering is a process for aligning team members that generates invaluable trust and a lot of excitement about working together.  When a team is first formed, it needs to go through a structured team start-up activity to kick-off correctly. Here are some of the topics that could be explored during a team chartering meeting.

  1. Team goal statement that establishes the team’s ‘destination’ or purpose, and what are high versus low priority goals
  2. Set of rules with which define how members will govern themselves
  3. Profile of member skills that enables the team to understand what skills, strengths/gaps they have, or need to acquire, to achieve their defined purpose
  4. Plan for analysis of the team’s customers, products and services, and the level of current satisfaction for purposes of process improvement
  5. Statement of specific work objectives and results indicators that describe how the team will meet its purpose
  6. Empowerment plan which clearly defines decision-making authority across all key team activities
  7. Action plan that sets into motion tasks that will enable the team to achieve its purpose
  8. Communication plan for the team that lays out how the team will communicate internally and externally
  9. Next Steps and how the team plans to run its meetings

Are you ready to be the hero of this team formation epic? Learn more about how to design and lead a Team Alignment workshop at The Facilitator’s Design Symposium

Let us Know

Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!