Team Composition – Key To Your Success

Team Composition – Key To Your Success
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You start a project, you constitute a team, they start working on it and over a period of time you realise that in spite of proper project planning, the project de-railed.

Sounds familiar?

Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to realise her dream and build enterprise or you are a senior executive working with the organisation having some key responsibilities and deliverables, you would agree that the team you constitute determines your success.

Yet we see entrepreneurs and senior executives struggle to get this one right. And if this aspect is not right for you, there is a risk of all the other objectives getting de-railed.

So if there are projects to be executed, how do you know you have the right team to execute the project successfully?

If you have the choice of constituting a team to execute the project, what parameters you would apply? Imagine the 4 people you constituted for the project are all creative thinkers. What would happen? They will keep ideating and never move to the next stage of project management which is planning. Take another situation. Let’s say all 4 are good implementers. At the beginning of the project when you need creative ideas, these guys or gals will not be able to contribute much to the project.

In short, we need different types of people to carry the project successfully in different stages of the project. The question still remains. How do I know these different types and how do I know what stage of the project they will be good at?

You are about to get answers to these two critical questions that may have haunted you so far.

I found that answer when I recently did a certification and accreditation course on Belbin Team Roles.

The idea of this write-up is to introduce you to the concept.

What are Belbin Team Roles?

Dr. Meredith Belbin, a British researcher and management theorist has extensively worked in the area of management teams. Amongst his key conclusions was the proposition that an effective team has members that cover eight (later nine) key roles in managing the team and how it carries out its work. This may be separate from the role each team member has in carrying out the work of the team.

Based on Belbin's model of nine team roles, entrepreneurs, managers or organisations building working teams can ensure that each of the roles that can be performed by a team member. Some roles are compatible and can be more easily fulfilled by the same person; some are less compatible and are likely to be done well by people with different behavioural clusters.

This means that a team need not be as many as nine people, but perhaps should be at least three or four.

So at the beginning of the project you need someone who can be creative, imaginative, someone who can think out of box, give big ideas etc. Person who has these traits, Belbin defines her as ‘Plant’. You also need someone who is outgoing, enthusiastic, and communicative, someone who explores opportunities and develops contacts. Person having such traits Belbin calls them ‘Resource Investigator’.

Try and check with your existing on-going projects. I am sure you are likely to see some of these traits in your people around.

While I spoke about two team roles here (Plant and Resource Investigator), People around you have one or many of the team role traits.

You need to figure them out and basis their preferred team roles, fit them in.

I am sure this will be worth the efforts as it improves the probability of a project completion and your success.

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