6 Different Team Effectiveness Models to Understand Your Team Better

Team effectiveness is the capacity of a group of people, usually with complementary skills, to work together to accomplish goals set out by an authority, members, or leaders of the team. Team effectiveness models help us understand the best management techniques to get optimal performance from our teams. There are several critical factors to achieve maximum group effectiveness as the six models of team working below will show. 

Smart leaders and project managers should be aware of unique dynamics and relationships within their teams and create room to consistently improve team performance. Google, a company known for their innovative models of team effectiveness, spent years analyzing what makes some teams better than others. Their findings? It’s less about who’s on the team and more about how well they work together.

Understanding these team effectiveness models will help you figure out which of the team models would be best to optimize your team by shedding a light on what works and what needs to be improved.

Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry’s GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness

This model of team effectiveness was proposed by Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry as early as 1977. It is also known by the acronym GRPI, which stands for Goals, Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal relationships. Represented as a pyramid diagram, this model outlines four parts teams need to be effective:

Goals: well-defined objectives and desired results, plus clearly communicated priorities and expectations Roles: well-defined responsibilities and acceptance of a leader Processes: clear decision-making processes as well as work procedures Interpersonal relationships: good communication, trust, and flexibility

Because of its simplicity, the GRPI model is great when starting a team or when encountering a team-related problem with an unknown cause.

The Katzenbach and Smith Model

After studying teams across several companies and their various work challenges, authors Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith unveiled this team effectiveness model in 1993. Their book, “The Wisdom of Teams,” lays out their model of efficient teams in a triangular diagram with the three points representing the larger deliverables of any team: collective work products, performance results, and personal growth. 

To reach these goals, productive teams must have three necessary components. These make up the sides of the triangle:

Commitment: Teams are committed when they have a meaningful purpose, specific goals, and a common approach to their work Skills: Team members need skills in problem-solving, technical skills to accomplish their craft, and interpersonal skills to enhance teamwork Accountability: Team members must have personal and mutual accountability The T7 Model of Team Effectiveness

In 1995, Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger developed the T7 Model to define what factors affect team effectiveness. They identified five internal and two external factors, all starting with “T,” hence the name, T7 model.

The internal team factors are:

Thrust: a common objective or goal Trust: the knowledge that your team has your back Talent: skills to do the job Teaming skills: the ability to function as a team Task skills: the ability to execute tasks

The external team factors are:

Team leader fit: whether the leader works well with the team Team support from the organization: how the organization enables the team to work

For a team to be high performing, all five internal factors must be present. However, no matter how complete the internal factors, if

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