Whether you realize it or not, your team has an operating system.
If you haven’t reviewed it lately or even thought about it, your team is not meeting its full potential. Plus, you’re also not achieving your customer’s expectations as efficiently and effectively as you could.
Your Team Operating System should properly organize your processes and procedures to ensure you achieve your team’s vision and mission.
To contrast, think of preventive maintenance. If you did NOT stop every so often to tune-up your car, eventually it will not perform. Your team is like your car. It is silly to think your team could function effectively without periodic maintenance.
One of the best ways to review and adjust your team’s operating system is to conduct this free Teamwork Tune-Up that is specifically designed for your team’s operating system.
If you’re ready, let’s review your team’s operating system.
First, Look At Your Team Using These Criteria
Your team system is the frame that contains all your team’s functions for conducting your team’s business. Some important system elements are:
- Is your organization’s Vision, Mission and Strategic Objectives clear, understandable and acceptable to your team?
- Are the organization’s Values clearly stated and embraced by your team?
- Does your team have an engaging vision and mission that lays out a clear road map (team processes) for achieving the team’s Vision and Mission?
- Is there a holistic team assessment process in place that evaluates both team processes and work relationships needed to achieve the team’s Vision & Mission?
- Are all teammates clear about their role, responsibility, accountability?
- Are your team meetings effective in that they succeed in making certain teammates know and understand what has, what is and what needs to happen?
- Do you have a continuous-improvement performance tracking system in place?
- Does your team stop periodically to reward legitimate individual and team performance?
- For more criteria, download the Teamwork Tune-Up Leaders Guide and look for the Team Performance Factor Checklist.
Watch this video to learn more about the criteria that make up a 6-step 90-day continuous improvement operating system or go directly below the video to learn three strategies for adjusting your system. Which ever one fits your need.
Adjusting Your Team Operating System
For those system elements that are functioning well, give yourself a pat on the back.
For those elements that need adjustment, you have three strategies for addressing or improving them:
- Improvement Project,
- Work Process Agreements,
- Work Behavioral Agreements. Let’s take them one at a time.
1. Some things are not a quick fix, so you need to gather several teammates to implement an Improvement Project
For example, the team has decided to centralize their teamwork materials and data on Microsoft SharePoint. Several teammates would be assigned to study the change, determine how and when to go live and offer teammate training as to how to use the new software.
Outcome: to focus and align teammate work efforts
Examples of When to Use:
- Alignment with organizational goals is vague or nonexistent.
- There is a lack of clarity or disagreement about who is doing what.
- Important action items are falling through the cracks.
- There is no clear owner or champion for critical activities.
- Little or no progress is being made on key action items.
2. For processes that just need a quick fix, you can create or modify key Work Process Agreements
Outcomes: reduces workload, eliminates duplication, adds value to team products and services.
Examples of When to Use:
- Conflicts and/or miscommunications occur around roles and responsibilities issues.
- Key processes are cumbersome, time-consuming, reduce productivity, and/or are inconsistently followed by all.
3. For those times when the team operating system causes poor teammate behavior you want to create and follow Work Behavioral Agreements
Outcome: Improve teammate trust, increase risk taking, create team loyalty and accountability.
Use When any of the following is present:
- hurt feelings
- general discord
- unhealthy competition
- lack of safety and/or trust
- unspoken anger or resentment
- low team morale
- misguided judgment
- finger pointing
There is no one way to build an effective and efficient team operating system, but these are some of the best practices:
- Stop periodically to look at and adjust your team operating system.
- Use the Right-Minded Teamwork criteria checklist [see Leaders Guide download] to help you pinpoint your system improvement opportunities.
- Use these three practical strategies to help you improve your team system.
Action: Are you ready to review and adjust your team operating system?
Here are two actions you can take right now.
- Download this Leader’s Guide for step by step instructions on how to look at and adjust your team operating system.
- Creating and maintain a good Team Operating Systems is an important component of Right-Minded Teamwork. Click here to read about the Five Elements of the Right-Minded Teamwork Structure.
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