Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to improve performance in team

Role of team in sports

I will consider Chicago Bulls team as my example for this discussion. The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The team is well known for having one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history during the 1990s, winning six championships in 8 years with two three-peats. All six of those championship teams were led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls won an NBA record 72 games during the 1995–96 NBA season and are the only team in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a single season. During the 1990s, the Bulls helped spread the popularity of the NBA around the world. The 1998 NBA Finals, the Bulls' most recent championship appearance, was the most watched championship series in NBA history (Wikipedia, 2010 May).
The team was formed in 1960's but was only made famous during 1990's and fell off again in the limelight in 2000 up to present. The success of the team during 1990's was obviously because of the mixed up of key players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and the leadership of coach Phil Jackson.
Phil Jackson believes that "The strength of the team is each individual member... the strength of each member is the team!" (Phil Jackson, Coach, Chicago Bulls). He added that "Basketball, unlike football with its prescribed routes, is an improvisational game, similar to jazz. If someone drops a note, someone else must step into the vacuum and drive the beat that sustains the team (Phil Jackson 2004).

For a sports team to exist, you need a group of talented athletes, who work together to achieve a common goal of winning the match (L. Sandler, 2010)

The role of team in any sports is extremely important, it will dictate between losing and winning and it will determine to be great or just an ordinary team. It is true that every NBA teams has all the skills they need to be great, they chose excellent players, great coach and manager but not all teams could achieved what the Chicago Bulls has accomplished. The bottom line is perfect team to deliver results and perfect strategy that applicable to the team. 
The ball is like a microphone or a spotlight--the more it's in your hands, the less anybody else has a chance to shine.  But if you start sharing it, others will contribute. If you can't live with that, you'll never win a championship (Phil Jackson, 1995).

It apparent that Phil Jackson emphasise great teamwork with his team, even the superstar like Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant followed the structure outline by coach Phil Jackson.

Role of team in engineering projects

Similarly, a project team is defined as a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance, goals, and approach. It could also be described as an assembly of people who are directly or indirectly accountable to the project manager (M. Newell and M. Grashina, 2004).

In engineering projects, the role of teams in the delivery projects is also very important.  Engineering projects can be complex in their design, process and/or client requirements.  They will call for expertise in fields not necessarily held by one individual.  They will have a risk profile that requires the efforts of many to understand and mitigate.
Teams are important to this type of work as they enable the members involved to spread amongst themselves the risks and workloads of the project.  This enables the team to achieve more than the individual members involved (synergy).
An effective team is required in order for the project to be in a position to deliver on its promise of completion of the project in line with the clients requirements.  An effective team with members who understand their roles and responsibilities as well as the roles and responsibilities of other team members will have increased productivity and synergy which is required to deliver solutions on complex engineering problems.  Effective teams will be well sized in order for each member to be effective and projects may require the formation of several teams to tackle the project successfully. 
Project team members' collocation is a simple but efficient tool to increase team performance and team members' involvement (manager (M. Newell and M. Grashina, 2004).

In summary, both sports team and engineering team uses effective teamwork in achieving their goals and the members of the team play their specific roles as one team.

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