A Goal is generally described as an effort directed towards an end. In project management, for example, the term goal is to three different target values of performance, time and resources. To be more specific, the project goal specifies the desired outcome (performance), the specific end date (time) and the assigned amount of resources (resources). A goal answers to “What” is the main aim of the project.
An Objective defines the tangible and measurable results of the team to support the agreed goal and meet the planned end time and other resource restrictions. It answers to “How” something is to be done.
I think many of us are familiar with the concept of SMART goals. Lately I’ve been using FAST objectives.
Transparency provides the connective tissue, and must be a primary aspect of any quality culture. Transparency is creating a free flow within an organization and between the organization and its many stakeholders. This flow of information is the central nervous system of an organization and it’s effectiveness depends on it. Transparency influences the capacity to solve problems, innovate, meet challenges and as shown above, meet goals.
This information flow is simply that critical information gets to the right person at the right time and for the right reason. By making our goals transparent we can start that process and make a difference in our organizations.
More a collection of topics for things I am currently exploring. Please add additional ones and/or resources in the comments.
Increasing collaborative modes of working, specifically more: Matrix structures (Cross et al. 2013, 2016; Cross and Gray 2013) (Distributed) Teamwork (Cross et al. 2015) (Multi-) Project work (Zika-Viktorsson et al. 2006) and multiple team membership (O`Leary et al. 2011) Interruptions, which are ‘normal’ or even as a necessary part of knowledge workers’ workday (Wajcman and Rose 2011) Collaboration, which is seen as an end (Breu et al. 2005; Dewar et al. 2009; Gardner 2017; Randle 2017)
Collaborative work is highly demanding (Barley et al. 2011; Dewar et al. 2009; Eppler and Mengis 2004) Perils of multitasking (Atchley 2010; Ophir et al. 2009; Turkle 2015) Too many structurally unproductive and inefficient teams (Duhigg 2016) Lack of accountability for meeting and conference call time (Fried 2016) Overall, lack of structural protection of employee’s productive time (Fried 2016)
Impacts of collaborative technology Growing share of social technologies in the workplace (Bughin et al. 2017) ‘Always on’ mentality, cycle of responsiveness (Perlow 2012) Platforms are designed to prime and nudge users to spend more time using them (Stewart 2017)
Unclear organizational expectations how to use collaborative technology and limited individual knowledge (Griffith 2014; Maruping and Magni 2015) Technology exacerbates organizational issues (Mankins 2017) Inability to ‘turn off’ (Perlow 2012) Technology creates more complexity than productivity gains (Stephens et al. 2017) Increasing complex media repertoires: highly differentiated, vanishing common denominator (Greene 2017; Mankins 2017) Social technology specific Increased visibility (Treem and Leonardi 2013) and thus the ability to monitor behaviour Impression management and frustration (Farzan et al. 2008) Overall, overload scenarios and fragmentation of work (Cross et al. 2015; Wajcman and Rose 2011)
Increasing ratio of collaborative activities for managers (Mankins and Garton 2017; Mintzberg 1990) and employees (CEB 2013; Cross and Gray 2013)
Workdays are primarily characterized by communication and collaboration.
Managers at intersections of matrix structures get overloaded (Feintzeig 2016; Mankins and Garton 2017) Limited knowledge how to shape collaboration on the managerial level (Cross and Gray 2013; Maruping and Magni 2015) Experts and structurally exposed individuals (e.g. boundary spanners) easily get overburdened with requests (Cross et al. 2016; Cross and Gray 2013).
Behavioral traits (‘givers’) may push employees close burn-outs (Grant 2013; Grant and Rebele 2017) Diminishing ‘perceived control’ over one’s own schedule (Cross and Gray 2013)
Overall, managers and employees do not have enough uninterrupted time (Cross et al. 2016; Mankins and Garton 2017)
Cross, R., Ernst, C., Assimakopoulos, D., and Ranta, D. 2015. “Investing in boundary-spanning collaboration to drive efficiency and innovation,” Organizational Dynamics (44:3), pp. 204–216.
Cross, R., and Gray, P. 2013. “Where Has the Time Gone? Addressing Collaboration Overload in a Networked Economy,” California Management Review (56:1), pp. 1–17.
Cross, R., Kase, R., Kilduff, M., and King, Z. 2013. “Bridging the gap between research and practice in organizational network analysis: A conversation between Rob Cross and Martin Kilduff,” Human Resource Management (52:4), pp. 627–644.
Cross, R., Rebele, R., and Grant, A. 2016. “Collaborative Overload,” Harvard Business Review (94:1), pp. 74–79.
Dewar, C., Keller, S., Lavoie, J., and Weiss, L. M. 2009. “How do I drive effective collaboration to deliver real business impact?,” McKinsey & Company.
Duhigg, C. 2016. Smarter, Faster, Better – The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, New York, USA: Penguin Random House.
Eppler, M. J., and Mengis, J. 2004. “The Concept of Information Overload: A Review of Literature from Organization Science, Accounting, Marketing, MIS, and Related Disciplines,” The Information Society (20:5), pp. 325–344.
Farzan, R., DiMicco, J. M., Millen, D. R., Brownholtz, B., Geyer, W., and Dugan, C. 2008. “Results from Deploying a Participation Incentive Mechanism within the Enterprise,” in Proceedings of the 26th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Florence, Italy.
Treem, J. W., and Leonardi, P. M. 2013. “Social Media Use in Organizations: Exploring the Affordances of Visibility, Editability, Persistence, and Association,” Annals of the International Communication Association (36:1), pp. 143–189.
Turkle, S. 2015. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, New York, USA: Pinguin Press.
With much of the work in organizations accomplished through teams it is important to determine the factors that lead to effective as well as ineffective team processes and to better specify how, why, and when they contribute. It doesn’t matter if the team is brought together for a specific project and then disbands, or if it is a fairly permanent part of the organization, similar principles are at work.
The input-process-output model of teams is a great place to start. While simplistic, it can offer a good model of what makes teams works and is applicable to the different types of teams.
Input factors are the organizational context, team composition, task design that influence the team. Process factors are what mediates between the inputs and desired outputs.
Leadership: The leadership style(s) (participative, facilitative, transformational, directive, etc) of the team leader influences the team toward the achievement of goals.
Management support refers to the help or effort provided by senior management to assist the project team, including managerial involvement and resource support.
Rewards are the recompense that the organization gives in return for good work.
Knowledge/skills are the knowledge, experience and capability of team members to process, interpret, manipulate and use information.
Team diversity includes functional diversity as well as overall diversity.
Goal clarity is the degree to which the goals of the project are well defined and the importance of the goals to the organization is clearly communicated to all team members.
Cooperation is the measure of how well team members work with each other and with other groups.
Communication is the exchange of knowledge and information related to tasks with the team (internal) or between team members and external stakeholders (external).
Learning activities are the process by which a team takes action, contains feedback and makes changes to improve. Under this fits the PDCA lifecycle, including Lean, SixSigma and similar problem solving methodologies..
Cohesion is the spirit of togetherness and support for other team members that helps team members quickly resolve conflicts without residual hard feelings, also referred to as team trust, team spirit, team member support or team member involvement.
Effort includes the amount of time that team members devote to the project.
Commitment refers to the condition where team members are bound emotionally or intellectually to the project and to each other during the team process.
Process Factors are usually the focus on team excellence frameworks, such as the ASQ or the PMI.
Outputs, or outcomes, are the consequences of the team’s actions or activities:
Effectiveness is the extent a project achieves the performance expectations of key project stakeholders. Expectations are usually different for different projects and across different stake-holders; thus, various measures have been used to evaluate effectiveness, usually quality, functionality, or reliability. Effectiveness can be meeting customer/user requirements, meeting project goals or some other related set of measures.
Efficiency is the ability of the project team to meet its budget and schedule goals and utilize resources within constraints Measures include: adherence to budget, adherence to schedule, resource utilization within constraints, etc.
Innovation is the creative accomplishment of teams in generating new ideas, methods, approaches, inventions, or applications and the degree to which the project outputs were novel.
Under this model we can find a various levers to improve out outcomes and enhance the culture of our teams.