Home Concepts Strategy Coaching with Groups and Teams TEAM: Project Team Environmental Analysis

TEAM: Project Team Environmental Analysis

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Expectations [External Locus of Control] [Demand Element]

A project team is more challenged if the expectations of others in the organization are higher (though higher expectations often come with greater authority over and access to organizational resources).

Accountability (Formal Expectations): The designated and assigned outcomes
for the Project Team

Hope (Informal Expectations): The often unacknowledged, but shared,
expectations regarding Project Team outcomes—if highly successful

The range of trade-offs affecting the measures used to evaluate a team’s achievements. The strength of this environmental element is determined by the kind of actions and outcomes that are formally and informally expected of this project team.

The expectation element and authority element are not independent. They must be considered together. The first element (Expectations) defines the end points for a project team and the second element (Authority) defines the resources that are available to a team as it moves toward these end points. By explicitly setting the expectations for a project team higher than the authority formally and informally granted to the team, an organization can force a project team to become more entrepreneurial.

To Raise the Expectations: Standardize work by using measures (either financial, such as time-item budget expenses, or non-financial, such as head count) that allow few tradeoffs.

To Lower the Expectations: Use non-financial measures (such as customer satisfaction) or broad financial measures (such as profits) that allow many tradeoffs.

Motivation [Internal Locus of Control] [Demand Element]

A project is likely to gain much more support in an organization (yet also increase expectations) if it holds the potential of influencing other projects and encouraging other people in the organization.

Enablement (Tangible Motivation): The direct ways in which Project Team
can benefit others in the organization and, more specifically, contribute to
the success of other projects.

Encouragement (Intangible Motivation): The indirect ways in which Project
Team can be champion or ever-present “colleague” to others in the
organization and, more specifically, to other projects.

The importance of the motivational element in a project team’s environment is determined in part by the width of the net that a team needs to cast in collecting data, probing for new information, and attempting to influence the work of others. Leaders of an organization can increase the importance of the motivational element by redesigning the task assigned to this project team—placing the team on a cross-functional relationship with other project teams or giving the team an assignment that requires it to report to two bosses. These leaders can decrease the motivational properties of a project team by encouraging members of the project teams to think outside the box (and outside the organization) in developing new ways of serving customers, increasing internal efficiencies, or adapting to changes in external markets. Project team members, in other words, are encouraged to serve as pioneers who are working well beyond (and therefore isolated from) anyone else in the organization.

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