In our fascination to help maximise performance in teams and companies we are constantly on the lookout for new insights. There are many antecedents of team performance (e.g. team composition, organisational context, team processes, team competences, etc.). In a specific study on consultancy teams Klarner and others focused on project owner communication and team adaptability (or agility) and how this relates to team and task competences and team performance.
First, some definitions:
- Team Competences enable team members to work together effectively to achieve a common goal (e.g. knowledge, skills, and attitudes);
- Task Competences enable team members to perform a specific activity;
- Team Processes include interactions between team members when solving a task and interactions with external others such as project owner communication;
- Team agility (or adaptability) is the degree to which a team adapts to a set of novel requirements.
This research study concluded that both team competences and task competences are important for a team’s performance but in different ways. Task competences directly affect team performance, but team competences are crucial antecedents of team processes (i.e. internal and external interaction).
There are two team processes important for a team performance: communication with project owner and team agility to the project at hand, but (again) in different ways. Project owner communication facilitates the relationship between team competences and team agility (i.e. clarity in understanding the project), and team agility subsequently mediates the relationship between client communication and team performance.
The level of your team’s task and behavioural competences will help facilitate the communication with the owner of the project at hand and respond to this with adaptation. This, in turn, will help the team to gain more additional project information from the project owner to explore the possible solutions.
So, team and task competences lead to project owner trust and improved team agility, which leads to even better project information and solutions resulting in higher team performance.
This leads us to three assessment questions:
- What is your assessment of your team’s team and task competences?
- What is your assessment of your team’s processes (internal and external interaction)?
- What is your assessment of your team’s agility (adaptability to novel information)?