Great teams share responsibility on projects and collaborate well. �Great teams don't leave a man behind to place blame if something goes wrong and someone has to report that to management. �When speaking about both successes and failures, great teams speak in terms of "we" and "us"; never "me" and "I". �Great teams work as one cohesive unit just getting stuff done.
Teams work on projects; not tasks. �Tasks are up to the team members themselves. �Tasks cannot be "done" by the team as a whole. �Imagine telling your boss that "we", the team, are going to upgrade a server to Windows Server 2012 when your team is involved in a global server refresh project. �He'd look at you sideways not why you're upgrading the server but he'd be confused as to who is actually going to do the work. �Your entire team isn't going to take turns clicking the mouse or typing on the keyboard. �That task is going to be delegated out to a specific person.
Sometimes, well-meaning team members use "we" too often when discussing task responsibilities. �As the member of a great team, it sometimes feels like it's "we" all the time. �The team members get along well and no one is the particular team leader so the team members all have an equal say. �This leads to discussions not about who is going to perform a particular task but when assuming the team itself is going to do it and not necessarily assigning a particular team member responsible. �This is bad practice.
Great teams do need to speak openly and work on things together but it's important that a clear delineation is formed on who is responsible for tasks. �Without this task assignment, no one team member necessarily knows what the other is doing at any point in time. �If the "team" is upgrading a server, who's going to get the media to upgrade it? �Who's going to run through the install wizard? �Who's going to decide what method is used to upgrade it? �Who's going to apply the security policy? �Who's going to patch it? �You get the point.
If no one team member is assigned a task than this leaves no accountability. �The whole team could just blame...."the team" for not getting something done. �No one is held responsible because it was never decided ahead of time what team member was going to do the work.
To be a great team requires a combination of large "we" tasks and smaller "me" tasks. �If you're a member of a team and you see no tasks being purposefully assigned to anyone be sure to speak up. �If you don't your once great team may eventually start to unravel while every team member duplicates each other's work, misses tasks and completes a project in 2-3 times the time it takes for a great team that learned how to delegate does.
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