Analyzing Team Maps in Action!

June 3, 2009 Max Isaac

Featured here is “Team Grid“, a workshop team from a 2-day workshop at the E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California.

Team Grid

Team Grid began the workshop by scoring poorly on Exercise #1, receiving -10 points as a team score, when their potential maximum score could have been 85 out of 100 points.  (Note that in this exercise, a wrong answer results in a deduction of points.)  Their overall Interaction Efficiency percentage (a measure of how well the team fared compared to how well they could have done) was only 16% for the first exercise.

Interaction Efficiency Chart

Following Exercise #1, Team Grid created their own Team Map, under the guidance of facilitator Anton McBurnie.

Team Grid's Team Map

As you can see, Team Grid had Team Role Surpluses (half or more of the team’s members with the same team role) for the Specialist, Completer Finisher, Coordinator, and Resource Investigator roles.  They also had Team Role Voids (no-one on the team with this role as a preferred team role) for the Monitor Evaluator and Implementer roles.

Potential Pitfalls: (based on team role surpluses and voids)

  • Prone to competition around who provides the knowledge, or could become too focused on one area of expertise (Specialist surplus)
  • Perfectionist tendencies could keep projects/documents from ever being finalized, as everyone wants to get it “just right”  (Completer Finisher surplus)
  • Unclear goals, multiple visions, and not knowing who to follow creating a lack of direction in the team (Coordinator surplus)
  • Too many people networking, not enough in the office getting the work done.  (Resource Investigator surplus)
  • No-one to critically evaluate ideas from the Plants and Resource Investigators (Monitor Evaluator void)
  • No practical-minded people to turn ideas into action plans and follow through with the work (Implementer void)

Suggested Action Steps:

  • This team should make sure they decide which Coordinator will facilitate the meeting, and have the other Coordinators step back into their other preferred roles.  This facilitator role could rotate among Coordinators for future meetings.
  • The team could consider getting a Monitor Evaluator in from outside of team when making crucial decisions.  (We even do this in our Belbin North America team!)
  • An awareness of the Implementer void makes the Completer Finishers’ role even more crucial.  The team should look to the Shaper and Completer Finishers to keep them on task.  The team may also want to consider bringing an Implementer to the team.
  • The Shaper (Joe) can be called upon to make tough decisions around goals and priorities, and to lead the team towards action.

Overall, this team is very heavy on the People Roles: Coordinator, Team Worker, and Resource Investigator.  It’s interesting to see the team will more likely be focused on people than on action or thinking.

You can see from the Interaction Efficiency Chart, that after the team completed their Belbin Team Map, they received the highest score on Exercise #2, with a team score of 20 points out of a possible 80 (potential maximum team score), and an Interaction Efficiency of 34%, an 18% increase from their last exercise.  The only changes the team made was to create their Team Map, and a set of groundrules that the team would follow around an understanding of how they work together as a team!

Would you like to send in your Belbin Team Map for expert analysis?  Send us your map as a photo or electronic document (we often use excel), and we’ll post some of the maps we receive here along with a complimentary analysis.  You can email us anytime at info@improvingteams.com.

Want to read more about Team Mapping?  Click here for another article.

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