4 team effectiveness models and how they work
Why is team effectiveness more important than ever?
October 2, 2018

Why is team effectiveness more important than ever?

Businesses get caught up in utilising the latest technology and having the best budgets. But, As Patrick Lencioni described in the opening of his book, ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’, ‘Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.’

Effective teams are the lifeblood of successful, powerful organisations. Over time, many team effectiveness models have been developed. Today, we are breaking down four of the most popular models and the benefits of each so you can choose what works best for your team.

1. The GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness

Rubin, Plovnick and Fry developed one of the oldest team effectiveness models in 1977, and it has stuck around for good reason. GRPI is an acronym that compromises the four pillars of the model — goals, roles, processes and interpersonal relationships.

Let’s break it down:

  • Goals: Clear objectives and intentions regarding individual and team goals, combined with robust communication about priorities and expectations
  • Roles: The entire team must have a defined team leader and distinct individual responsibilities
  • Processes: Established decision-making and problem-solving procedures, along with clear team processes
  • Interpersonal Relationships: Team performance is based on frequent, honest communication, engagement and flexibility between team members

The GRPI is a simple, straightforward team effectiveness model that can help organisations improve employee engagement and foster accountability towards individual and group goals.

2. The Katzenbach and Smith Team Effectiveness Model

This model was developed by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith in 1993. The authors studied teams in many companies that had different types of business challenges and co-wrote the book ‘The Wisdom of Teams’.

The Katzenback and Smith model resembles a triangle, with each point representing the main objectives of the team. These revolve around collective work products, performance results, and personal growth. The three points of the triangle include:

  • Commitment: Team members are more dedicated to their work when they are engaged and aligned to the mission of the organisation, have clear goals and a shared team approach towards reaching them.
  • Skills: Every member of team must be adept in problem solving and teamwork, and have the professional skills and adequate resources needed to accomplish goals.  
  • Accountability: Co-workers need to be steadfast in their commitment to their individual tasks and team goals.

In the Katzenback and Smith model, teams spend a lot of time developing shared goals to increase accountability and engagement. Smart teams employ the use of performance management systems to increase adherence to commitments.

3. The T7 Model of Team Effectiveness

Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger crafted the T7 Model in 1995 with the aim of better understanding the factors that contribute to team effectiveness. After all, you can't fix the problem if you don't know what causes it.

Lombardo and Eichinger discovered there are five common internal factors and two external factors that highly impact team effectiveness. Each one begins with T, which earned it the name 'T7 Model’.

Internal factors include:

  • Thrust: A shared goal between team members
  • Trust: Every employee is confident that their fellow team members have good intentions and are committed to the goal
  • Talent: Employees have the skills and resources to produce effective team performance and the best results.
  • Teaming skills: The entire team works well together and has excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Task skills: Team members exhibit consistent and timely execution of tasks

External team factors include:

  • Team leader fit: Does the team leader work for the greater good of the team and the goal? The leader must have a collaborative rather than dictating approach towards reaching team goals.
  • Team support from the organisation: Teams must have overall support across every level of the organisation to reach goals and be provided with the resources needed to accomplish them.

High performing teams ensure each of the five internal factors are active. That being said, without support from the external members of the company, effectiveness is limited. Sometimes, team leaders need to advocate for external buy-in to gain support and reach maximum team effectiveness.

4. The LaFasto and Larson Model

In 2001, Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson developed a team effectiveness model they coined 'Five Dynamics of Team Work and Collaboration'. Through researching 600 teams in various organisations, they made a model of what an effective team looks like that consisted of five elements of team effectiveness.

  • Team members: Your talent is your greatest asset, so choosing the right employees is key. Do team members have the proper skills and capabilities work in a team environment?  
  • Team relationships: Similar to the importance of interpersonal relationships in the GRPI model, the right team building behaviours are key to maximising team capabilities.
  • Team problem solving: When any group has good team connections and interactions, high levels of trust foster productive conflict resolution and problem-solving skills.  
  • Team leadership: An effective, proactive team leader that moves team members in a compelling direction is critical in any team effectiveness model.
  • Organization environment: Collaborative work methods and organisational culture support team commitment and accountability.

Implement Your Team Effectiveness Model With Ease

Regardless of the team effectiveness model you choose, it is key to make implementation simple with the right tools, such as performance management systems and task management tools. Leading teams leverage technology to make their team as productive and collaborative as possible.

Samewave is social performance management software that promotes meticulous team task management and helps work teams create and track accountability towards goals in one place.

Empower individual team members to build the most successful team with software that leverages the power of social influence to increase accountability to goals and targets. Robust features such as chat streams, document storage and public recognition move businesses forward in a transparent work environment.

Make your team effectiveness model powerful with Samewave by fostering strong engagement and productivity with simple collaboration tools that keep everyone on the same page, regardless of their location.

Best of all? Samewave is free, so sign up today and discover how your team effectiveness model can come to life with software that helps organisations succeed.

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