Work as a team

A group of people working as a team is often the best way to complete a project because teams can generate more work of higher quality than individuals or large groups.

Do it now
Form a team of people for a project requiring new ideas and more work than one or two people can do. Keep the team small (seven or fewer people). Include complimentary skill sets and knowledge in the people you choose. Establish a goal for the team and establish a way the team should work together. Ensure everyone knows the whole team is responsible for the team’s performance; no one person can succeed without the whole team succeeding.

A team can generate many ideas of a greater diversity because each person contributes their own ideas. A team can work quickly by simultaneously performing several tasks. A team can improve quality be checking each other’s work. Through collaboration (see Create by designing together), teams can apply complimentary expertise to one goal.

For small or well-defined tasks, teams can be less productive than other configurations of people. At some point the added communication and coordination required among a team results in diminishing benefits and it becomes better to work alone or in pairs.

The biggest pitfall is a group of people working together who think they’re a team, but don’t act as one. If each individual primarily works in his or her own department and collaborates by trading emails and meeting occasionally, this is not a team. A team is a small group of people collaborating closely on a daily basis to accomplish a defined goal.