Week 4 Senior Project Discussion

Group vs. Team

Let us discuss the differences between groups and teams

A lot of difficulty is experienced when forming a team than a group. Group forming can be based on a particular commonality while a team can be selected based on complimentary skills rather than a particular commonality. The inter-personal dynamics of a group range between complete intolerance to complete compatibility. Inter-personal dynamics of a team depend on the functionality of individuals. The other difference is that success in a group is measured through results while in a team, it is measured through the process undertaken to reach the results. Building a group needs a few minutes while building a team on the other hand may need years.

How do we convert a group to a team?

Groups can be converted to teams using four stages. In a group, there is a distinct leader thus in converting it into a team the leadership roles have to be delegated to all team members. The first stage encompasses forming in which the group members start forming relationships and trust with each other for effective functioning of the team. The next stage is storming in which the initial group rebels from centralized authority in favor of the delegation of all roles to the team members. Norming includes the elimination of rebellion and the integration of support into the team. The last stage, which is performing, is the stage that the group is converted into a team that can perform specific tasks. However, the stages may not occur simultaneously. It might take years for a group to be converted into a team.

What Benefits Might come from this Conversion in a Business Environment?

A group is interested with results but when it is converted into a team, it is going to be interested in the process undertaken to arrive at the results, which will enable the business to take up the same process later for the improvement of its performance. The products of a team are arrived at collectively while those of a group are arrived at individually thus, the team is the best to work with due to different ideas that have been articulated into the products. The team manages to deliver specific purposes thus improving business performances. Team-meetings encourage discussion, which articulates different ideas into the business. The group delegates duties after making decisions while teams decide and perform those duties thus reducing costs for a business. In a team, there is mutual and individual accountability, which enhances the goals of the business. The leadership roles are shared in a team such that if the leader is not there, work can continue saving time for the business.

Matrixed Employee Environments

Today, employers are using employees more and more in a matrixed environment. What does that mean?

This means the pooling of the employees with the same skills together to work on certain assignments. Employees may all be under one manager but they might be assigned to specific projects in which they will report to project manager. Each employee has to work under several managers. It aids the employee teams in the sharing of information more readily across boundaries created by tasks. It leads to specialization, which culminates to increased output. Under it, conflicts arise between project managers and line managers due to the allocation of resources. Managing the employees is difficult due to a lot of freedom. It increases costs for the business.

How can we contend with the various stressors in such an environment?

Effective communication methods should be articulated between line and project managers. Project managers should understand the roles of the line-managers in the provision of resources to avoid conflict of interests. The employees should co-operate with the project managers to ensure their commitment to the project leading to the success of the project. The project should be sub-divided to ensure its success due to the different processes involved. The project manager should take-up the roles of task-leader and sub-project manager to reduce costs. Enough resources should be provided to the project, and line managers to ensure the success of the project. The employees should report to both the line and project managers for the articulation of duties. Both project and line-managers should be given credit for the success of the project.

How do we manage expectations up for various projects?

The project manager is in charge of the management of the project expectations. This is through status, reporting to the sponsors and stakeholders of the project. The team sends status updates to the project manager who in-turn reports these to the management stakeholders. The project manager should review the whole project with the project’s sponsor. The project manager should discuss the factors that hinder the success of the project with each stakeholder. The project manager should assign different responsibilities to different people such that if they fail they know who is responsible. There should be an inclusion of contingence clauses to cover events that the team cannot correct in the agreement. All the information agreed upon should be incorporated into the stakeholder’s agreement and constant communication should be maintained between the project team and the stakeholders.


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