Obstacles and Changes in the Team During Project

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8th Feb 2020 Project Management Reference this

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OBSTACLES AND CHANGES IN TEAM WHILE TASK ACCCOMPLISHMENT

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this paper is introduce to the reader about the team roles of the people in the projects or tasks. Teams reaction towards the situations and how they can be resolved by various methodologies. This contains Belbin SPI inventory and observers reports which show our team role. This report shows my self-reflection on Belbin SPI and observers report on the roles and differences between the Self-perception and observers report which are quite different from each other. Establishment of the team dynamics in my previous professional experience in a project-oriented task to overcome the conflicts and tackling some situations to accomplish the task on time. I related my previous professional experience to Belbin team role on the basis of the strengths and weaknesses of the roles. This report also states the people changing the behaviour according to the task and some factors which affect Individual and group behavioural changes. I mentioned how to motivate the less performing groups to increase their performance and a brief description and example of social loafing and the relationship between the team members in the work environment. This report also touches the management of the conflict between individual or group or organization and the benefits of the conflicts to the organizations.

INTRODUCTION

Are we like chameleons in our working life? Every person in the team has a different perspective and different ways to complete the work. However, the main problem arises during the execution and completion of the task perfectly on time. A team needed to complete the task in any field such as construction, sport, software industry, movies. Etc. The execution of different methodologies, adjustments, and acceptance of the others ideas plays a key role in task accomplishment. Human beings are predictable in the way they behave. The people’s behavioural changes are common in any industry because the behaviour, thinking, approach towards the task changes according to the situations, mode of task, targets and team members behaviour. Perhaps people find it difficult to change the behaviour towards the people who already have the expectations about our behaviour. I believe human beings are like chameleons slightly who simply change by the situations during the task. The amalgamation of our ideas and adjustments in work environment make the people and the task more successful. We humans naturally work well with some people than with other people and no one is competent at all the tasks equally. This kind of inequality is not an obstacle to progress and productivity. If we are equally competent in all tasks, it will be difficult to choose who should do the work or who should work with whom (Belbin, 2009). To be successful in any organization, the people need to have a distinctive understanding of where to fit in and how personal contribution we make to the organization. In every stage of work, we learn new things to improve our capability in doing the work.

BELBIN SPI (SELF PERCEPTION INVENTORY) THEORY

In the early years of the 1970s, a management psychologist Dr. Meredith Belbin with the association of Henley Management College discovered a way to predict the team’s success. He divided participants according to the various psychological types- extrovert/ introvert etc. he hoped to find the perfect team mix. Eventually, He identified eight team roles in 1981 and then later in 1991 Belbin added the ninth role. This behavioural patterns can be used to anticipate the success of the team in the projects. The nine-team roles are defined as “a tendency by an individual to behave, contribute or interrelate with others in a team in certain ways” (Meredith Belbin, 1971).He also named nine roles as Shaper, monitor evaluator, completer finisher, implementer, plant, specialist, team worker, Resource investigator, and coordinator.

 Fig 1: Team role strengths and weakness

Belbin used a certain language to identify the team role. This language gives a simple shorthand approach to examine explicit conduct without colleagues feeling you’re stereotyping them. By understanding the team roles in our team it will be able to identify to choose particular activities in the groups and dislike others and will be able to recruit a good mix of team members for particular kinds of tasks. Based on their strengths the team roles are divided into three phases they are:

Action based roles: Shaper, implementer and completer-finisher.

People based roles: Coordinator, team worker, resource investigator.

Thought based roles: plant, monitor evaluator, and specialist.

WHY TEAM ROLES ARE CRUCIAL

The strengths of the Belbin team roles are crucial at the different stages of the project such as

Creating and finding ideas: In a project, the ideas come from inside or outside the team. The plant usually come up with the ideas within the team. Outside the team, resource investigators come up with the ideas during their various interactions.

Organizing people: The coordinator assigns tasks to the people according to their skillset and making sure that everyone is pulling their given task.

Setting and achieving goals: Basically, the setting goals is a coordinators responsibility and they are also responsible to assure progression towards goals. At this time, to maintain the leadership under pressure Shaper has the capability to drive through the obstacles.

Building and refining plans: when the idea emerges in a team they are analysed by the monitor evaluators. Implementers shape the given ideas into feasible plans and Specialist provides their opinions on whether the plans are feasible.

Following through: as implementers fortify the plans are executing and as expected and they unite with completer finishers who check the team’s outcome meets the benchmark.

Maintaining Relationships: Resource investigators maintain a good relationship with the resources and outside stakeholders. But, the contact should also be smooth between the team members and team workers contribute to maintaining the healthy working relationships in a team.

 Belbin SPI and Observers Assessment

This is a behavioural test in which assessment is made by answering several questions. Then Belbin team role system analyses the given responses and other questions are asked to the observers and a graphical and scripted form of feedback is produced.

MY BELBIN SPI (SELF PERCEPTION THEORY) AND OBSERVERS REPORT

The above bar graph demonstrates my SPI and observers report. As per the above graph, SPI report shows that I am good at contributing to the roles completer finisher, team worker, and resource investigator. It shows that I am not a shaper. However, in my observers report, I got good percentile as a plant, shape, and completer-finisher.

SELF REFLECTION (SPI)

I don’t agree with my SPI report because in a project I have to work with a team collaboratively in which an individual is assessed by his performance and behaviour towards the team members. I believe that the SPI report which I got is not a permanent report which I shouldn’t stick to it because I believe the way of work and approach towards task completely changes according to some factors such as:

Nature of the Task

I believe that the Belbin team role changes by the nature of the task everyone are not perfect in every task. In any work environment, the nature of the task changes and should work as per the task. Our way of thinking changes according to the task and act differently.

Time

Time plays a crucial role in the task. Every task we do has deadlines and everyone’s main objective is to complete the task on time. When the deadlines are nearby sometimes we do multiple tasks at a time or get tensed and don’t complete the task properly or we do the task more efficiently than before.

Team Members Behaviour

We work in a team with different behaviours and sometimes our way of reaction depends on other team member behaviour or his reaction towards the situations. We need to accept or decline or replenish the ideas of other people. We can see the change of the role at this point in time.

Client Requirements

Especially in the construction industry, we can see the changing of the client requirements. We have to work according to client requirements. If the client wants the plan to be more creative. We need to be a plant and deal with the task in a creative way. At this stage, a plant arises from the team according to the situation irrespective of his Belbin team role.

Competition

Competition is the term which we can see in many fields. It might be between two or more people or groups or organizations…etc. Competition makes people work more efficiently on the task. If there is no competition people might not work more efficiently and are less bothered about the task. We can see the change of the team roles.

SELF REFLECTION (OR)

I strongly agree with the Observers report given by the observers whom I worked with previously. I worked for 18 months in several projects they have seen me from the beginning and they know how I react and respond to the situations in a project. The feedback given by the observers is helpful to improve my performance.

My preference

My preference is always want to work as a Shaper when undertaking a task because I work well when I get good support from the group and I like to work with the people who will let me think to before doing the task. However, I couldn’t able to fulfil the role shaper because sometimes I involve in conflicts and try to solve them to maintain good relationships. I give preference in maintaining the good relations ships inside and outside the project. That makes me a partly contributing shaper.

MY TEAM ROLE AS A SITE ENGINEER IN A PROJECT

 I worked as a site engineer with a team in a construction firm. Our team comprises of a project manager, civil engineer, surveyor, graduate trainee engineers, interior designer. Our project is to build a group of individual double bedroom flats in India. I have executed several tasks assigned by the project manager to complete the project. The assigned tasks are:

1)     Checking the plans, drawings, and quantities for accuracy of calculations.

2)     Supervising the junior or trainee engineers.

3)     Day-to-day management of the site, including supervising and monitoring the labour force and their work.

4)     Overseeing quality control and health and safety issues on site.

5)     Preparing reports as required by the project manager

6)     Resolving any unexpected technical difficulties and other issues that may arise.

This was my first project. I was very confident to complete the tasks. Later, I have faced many problems in doing the project. Communication in a team can be viewed as a transaction (Barnlund, 1970). As communication plays a key role in the execution of the project. I faced a lot of communication issues in the project. The hardest task for me was working with people who speak different languages. Except for the project manager, everyone in the group cannot speak English or understand my language. I used to do the task in my own way without the following the procedure I found it very difficult in completion of the task. Due to the lack of communication, there was a lot of misconception in the workplace that led to the task related conflicts. After confronting the people involved in the conflict, several ideas evolved from either side. Basically, Task-related issue have a positive impact on team’s performance (O’Neill et al., 2013). Then our group came to know that I am facing a communication problem and they came to know that I am capable of completing the project. So, our project manager helped me to know the workflow of the project and explained everything in detail. Later, he started giving me the daily targets. These targets helped me in executing the project without any problems again. After completion of every target, I got a lot of appreciation and encouragement from the project manager which helped me to improve my work. I believe Appreciation is a great reward to improve our skill Then, I mingled with the group and in the group, and we started distributing the skills. This phenomenon is called task interdependence. It helps the team members to motivate in several ways. When team members depend on one another to complete the task, power is shared among the members (Franz, 1998). As our civil engineer is highly experienced, he has checked the emerging ideas and gave some suggestions to improve the given ideas. The graduate trainee engineers in our group were the people who check the execution is going as expected and our civil engineer used to check the perfect output. This helped me to know about the workflow of the projects and we have completed the project on given time.

IDENTIFICATION OF BELBIN TEAM ROLES IN MY WORK EXPERIENCE

In the starting stages of my job, I was not able to do the job properly due to some communication issues and when I got good support I developed myself in working with the team and I used to control the labour and supervising the site and am able to complete the task given by the project manager. I can see myself as a shaper because when I got good support and command on the site and project my intention completely changed towards the task completion and pushing others to finish the task. Our project manager is the best examples for the roles of the resource investigator and coordinator because when I was not able to work properly he supported me and assigned my daily tasks for the completion of the project. Civil engineer in the team was a monitor evaluator and implementer because he is good analyser of the plan/ides and provides the opinions about the plans.

TEAM DYNAMICS

A group or team is defined as the set of the people working together to meet a certain goal. In a psychological view, two processes define a group: Social representation and social identification (Hayes, 1997).Hayes believes that the team must have the responsibility of independence and power to operate to achieve the goals.

Since group dynamics have an impact on productivity, there is a lot of enthusiasm on the issue. Subsequently, there are by and by a few speculations on how everything functions. Through and through, they centre on group jobs and cooperation’s. We will before long arrangement with gathering elements. Besides, we will investigate every one of these models and how to utilize them. On the whole, the main focus list to maintain good group dynamics are:

  • Team roles, as proposed by Dr. Meredith Belbin. This hypothesis incorporates 9 standard roles on which most groups fall on or neglect to work ideally.
  • Team development stages, as proposed by Dr. Bruce Tuckman. The development stages are Forming, Storming, Norming, Adjourning, Performing in which we can see the different Belbin team roles in each stage.
  • Personality types as a reason for group communications. As proposed in different models, including the Myers-Briggs typology.
  • Transaction analysis – a psychoanalytic hypothesis with bits of knowledge covering social intercourse and group interchanges.

SOCIAL LOAFING

It is the phenomenon of the individual making fewer contributions when working in a group rather than working alone (Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979). Some individuals in the group think that someone else in the group will put the effort or take an initiative to finish the task.

According to Maximilien Ringelmann, when the size of the group increases, the effort putting on the task decreases. For example, in the traditional game called “TUG OF WAR “which is played in the southern part of India. It is just like the rope pulling game. Effort should be kept on either side of the rope by pulling it. In the group, every individual should make an equal contribution to winning the game. If any individual makes less contribution, the group fails to win the game. The simpler way to eradicate the social loafing is by motivating the team.

SOCIAL CONFLICT

Social conflict is the process in which groups or individual recognize that others have taken some initiation that has a bad effect on their interest. In every issue finding the root cause is very important. It is a waste of time for the team dealing only with the symptoms of conflicts arisen in the team. Conflicts are of two types:

1) Healthy Conflicts – This conflicts mostly concentrate on issues in the task, opposing the opinions on the task and explaining the ideas etc.

2) Unhealthy Conflicts – These conflicts arise about the power, resources and rewards, defective communications.

 INCREASING GROUP PERFORMANCE

 Low performing groups or individual can be identified by their effort towards the task. Low performing groups are formed by social loafing the low performing group’s performance can be increased by the following:

1)     Motivation

When the group is not performing well when there is good motivation for the group or individual the performance level of the group increases. A group is more motivated when the task is challenging, interesting and involving. Probably, the best description of how to make this type of task comes from the job characteristic model. (Hackman& Oldham, 1980).

2)     Evaluation and Rewards

A balance of individual and team-based rewards are necessary to support both a commitment to the team and an inducement for individual performance (Thompson, 2004). When the team performs an activity or completes the task, the evaluation of the activity helps the individual or team to improve the performance on the same task or helps in not repeating the errors. In the same way, when the team or individual is rewarded we can see the improved performance.

3)     Team efficacy

Team efficacy is the efficient level a team has to finish the tasks ordered by an authorized professional or the organization when the task is administered by the higher official in the organization the task efficiency increases and improves the performance of the group. Team efficacy and team potency relate to team performance, especially when there are high levels of task interdependence (Mathieu, Maynard, Rapp, & Gilson, 2008)

4)     Group cohesion

It is the process that identifies the groups whose team members communicate with each other and allude to the forces that make team members closer together to work as a team. The joining together to work as a group can make a feeling of cohesiveness (Guzzo & Dickson 1997). In these days a lot of work is completed mostly by the group cohesion. Emotional and task-related cohesion are the two ways of cohesion mostly occurs. The teams with good cohesion have the trust, good communication, and adaptability and improve the performance of the team and accomplish the task.

CONCLUSION:

 I want to conclude that the Belbin team report should be considered temporarily. I believe that observers report should be considered because the work we do in the team is clearly observed and experienced by the team members. And they know how we work in the team and how we respond to the situations. So, I agree with the Belbin observers report. I don’t agree with the Belbin SPI (Self-perception inventory) because there were only some set of questions to analyze our team role and it’s completely different when we are in the live project. I believe it is not good to depend too heavily on Belbin while structuring the team because Belbin SPI is only one of many, there are many factors that are essential in getting a team to perform the next level. Coordination and team interdependence are the two aspects which help the team to become more successful. Working in a team has many unexpected challenges, obstacles. In the process of overcoming the obstacles, there will be a no constant team role. Individual’s doesn’t work in a same position in an organization or might change the organization for many reasons. In every stage the learning matters and the improvement matters.

REFERENCES:

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