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Create A Winning Team

March 16, 2001
Related Topics: Featured Article
Here are some goals, objectives and assignments to help your management teamperform to the best of its ability.


Step 1: Set your department's goals.

Use the vision communicated from higher management to develop yourdepartment's goals. Whether higher management has dictated your department'sgoals to you or you are developing them, make sure they are:

  • Ambitious, yet attainable --The goals should force the group to reach beyondwhat they normally achieve, but must also be within their reach. Goals must alsohave a chance to succeed: Your team must not only be capable of achieving thegoals, but you must be in a position to support your team in achieving them.

  • Customer driven --The goals must not only meet the needs and requirements ofyour customers, but they also must impact your customers positively or theeffort will be wasted.

  • Competitor focused --Assess the performance of the competition, especiallythose factors leading to your competitors' success. By establishing yourdepartment's goals, you should be challenging your competition to a race forcustomers and market share.

  • Relevant to your organization's vision --The goals must be in direct supportof the overall vision or your efforts won't help your organization become orachieve what it desires.

  • In line with your organization's values --Achieving your goals should nevercompromise the values of your organization.

Step 2: Share the goals with your team.

For the goals you have identified, use the following checklist to share thegoals with your team. Don't assume team members will know what to do withoutspecific direction tied to goals.

Paint a picture of how achieving the goal will not only help the organizationbut also the team and the individual players. To do this, consider:

  • Leading your team in a visioning exercise. If the goal were beingachieved, how would the team be operating? What kinds of things would behappening? What would the situation look like?

  • Give team members a chance to react. The goal may seem impossible to themat first. Allow them to express these feelings. After all, if they never acceptthe goal, they'll never accomplish it. If team members have trouble acceptingthe goals, try this approach:

  • Create an open dialogue with the team to explore all of the obstacles theybelieve might prevent the achievement of the goal.

  • Help the team see these obstacles as challenges to be overcome.

  • Brainstorm on ways to overcome each obstacle by working with the team toidentify their unique attributes-the specific characteristics that will helpthem accomplish the department's goals.


Step 1: Work with your team to set objectives.

For each goal you identified, work with your team to set objectives that arespecific, measurable accomplishments that must be achieved in order to reach thegoal. Consider such factors as:

  • Time frame

  • How much you need to increase or decrease specific productivity, sales,quality levels, etc.

  • Numerical targets you need to hit

Step 2: For each objective you identify, perform a gap analysis.

A gap analysis will help you establish the specific actions you and your teamneed to take to achieve each objective. To do this, identify:

  • Specific objectives that your team is accomplishing today.

  • Specific objectives that your team needs to accomplish.

  • Differences between what your team is accomplishing today andwhat they need to accomplish to reach the stated objectives.

  • Obstacles that could prevent your team from achievingthe stated objectives.

Methods/Systems & Playing Style

Step 1: Brainstorm on new methods and systems that will overcome eachobstacle.

For each obstacle that is within your ability to control, identify the bestsolution to eliminate the obstacle. To help with this brainstorming session:

  • Consider the methods and systems being used by other organizations.

  • Review the methods and systems previously used by your department ororganization.

  • Ask yourself and your team: If all of these methods and systems were inplace, would we be likely to achieve our goals?

Step 2: Define your team's playing style.

As you work through this exercise, gauge the team's manner and mindset, aswell as their group and individual strengths and weaknesses. This will help youidentify the team's playing style, which will be important when you reach Step3.

  • Identify your team's current playing style.

  • Identify the type of playing style you'll need to meet your goals. To dothis, build on your team's strengths.

  • Communicate the desired playing style to your team. Be explicit and clearabout your expectations.

  • Reinforce the new playing style whenever possible.

Step 3: Select the new method(s) and system(s).

Select the combination of method(s)/system(s) that best match your team'splaying style and are the most feasible to implement.

Playing Style

  • Compare each new method and system to your team's playing style.

  • If a method won't work because of team style, first try to find a methodthat better fits your team's playing style.

  • If you can't find a method/system that matches your team's playing style,you may have to take action to change the style. This is a drastic step; be sureit's worth it!


Consider such factors as:

  • Manpower

  • Time

  • Budget

  • Other necessary resources

Individual Assignments

Step 1: Map out the process flow.

For each method/system, identify the sequence of steps/actions needed toimplement it.

  • Note the critical steps, sequences, deadlines, and communication that willneed to occur.

  • Identify what the decision points are and when they should come into play.Be sure to describe the resulting actions as well.

  • Include checkpoints to ensure that the method/system is being implementedcorrectly.

Step 2: Create the individual assignments.

Based upon your analysis of the process flow, develop specific executableassignments for each individual on your team. To do this:

  • Identify each work unit and/or individual to be involved.

  • Assign responsibility for each executable.

Specific Actions

Step 1: Define individual executable actions.

Create job instructions for groups and individuals that are based on theassignments you made. Don't forget to:

  • Break all assignments down into actions that can be taught, practiced,executed, and evaluated.

  • Document all required actions.

Step 2: Define your expectations.

By documenting your expectations for each action, you will find it easier toreview with employees on a regular basis. The documented job instructions andexpectations can also serve as the basis for future performance reviews.

For each required action, specify your expectations with regard to:

  • Timing requirements

  • Responsibility and accountability

  • Decisions to be made

  • Standardized tasks

  • Guidelines for conduct

  • Quality of work

© 2001, The Center for Effective Performance,Inc.. All rights reserved. Assistance on how to effectively implement these checklistsin your organization is available through a new one-day management seminarentitled How to Build A Championship Team at Work.

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