Types of Team Members in a High Performance Team

Types of Team Members in a High-Performance Team

The key to the success of the High-Performance Teams is determined by the composition of the members of the team. The team members represent diverse functional, cultural and social backgrounds, who collaborate to achieve specific goals under pre-defined deadlines and resource limitations. The team members can be categorised into five types by the variations in the personalities:

  1. The Creative Spark: Creative Sparks are “Out of the Box Thinkers” who are always engaged in exploring the innovative ways of handling things. Such team members serve as an incredible asset to the organisation for their creative abilities. Such team members tend to get bored quickly if the tasks take too long to finish and they lose the stimulus.

  2. The Productive Dynamo: The Productive Dynamos are the go-getters as they drive results and ensure the achievement of the goals. They are the actual performers or the doers of the tasks. Since Productive Dynamos work hard a lot, they may be subjected to burnout due to excess work overload.

  3. The Team Driver: The Team Drivers help in binding the team together. Such team members play the role of the team facilitators, they establish the systems & processes in place and keep everything organised for ensuring the achievement of the work goals.

  4. The Intellectual Powerhouse: Such team members are the main brains behind the team. They are the intellectuals and highly analytical skilled at troubleshooting or resolving the complicated problems.

  5. The Maven Influencer: The Maven Influencers play the role of the promoters of the team. They pay attention to the bigger picture and are good at networking, communicating and getting the required support from the external sources from the team members.

    Various High-Performance Teams differ from each other in terms of the duration, goals or objectives of coming together and also the very purpose of their existence. Such teams can be mainly grouped into five broad categories:

  6. Work Teams: The members of the work teams enjoy a relatively stable membership and responsible for carrying forth with their day-to-day assigned responsibilities or nature of work. Their work responsibilities are relatively well defined and is on a full-time basis. Such types of teams are usually formed in Manufacturing or service setups, where the supervisor mostly monitors the progress in the work, allocates the responsibilities to the team members, decides on the strategies and provides strategic direction and guidelines to the team members.

  7. Self-Managed Work Teams: Self-Managed Teams are time-tested and a proven pathway to success for the organisations in the contemporary scenario. Over a period, self-managed teams have gained profound popularity and several renowned corporates have given priority to forming such groups for fulfilling their strategic goals. Statistical findings reveal that around 80% of the fortune 1000 organisations prefer self-managed teams, as it offers cost savings and improves overall productivity if implemented strategically. Such groups do not have a manager or operate in any hierarchical framework.

    Self-Managed teams essentially comprise a group of team members who are responsible for almost all the kinds of functional and managerial responsibilities required for delivering specific work outcomes or realisation of the project goals. The administrative and technical responsibilities are rotated amongst the team members and the team members mainly play the role of the facilitators and carry out the supporting work for example planning, facilitation and scheduling of the workflow. Self-Managed teams are essentially autonomous in terms of discharging their responsibilities and management of the team members. Such groups are more productive and deliver exceptional outcomes because the team composition comprises of the members who are experts or specialists in their respective fields and can efficiently handle both technical and managerial nature of work.

  8. Parallel Teams: Parallel teams co-exist along with the formal organisational hierarchy. Such units comprise of a group of people from varying fields of specialisation or functional departments which function alongside to take care of specific functions which the organisation may not be well equipped to perform in its capacity. Parallel teams enjoy limited authority and can only offer recommendations for improvement or creative problem-solving. Examples of this type of groups could be quality circles, quality improvement teams, task forces, etc.

  9. Project Teams: Project Teams are responsible for the fulfilment of deadline-driven tasks or projects and usually such teams deliver one-time outcomes in the form of products, services, plant re-engineering or a system implementation project. The nature of work of the project teams is not repetitive or redundant. Instead, it involves a significant application of the specialised skills and expertise for fulfilling the project goals. Such units comprise of members having specialised skills and representing diverse disciplines or functional backgrounds.

    Depending on the nature of the assigned projects, a project team can take the form of a cross-functional team, matrix team or a contract team. A cross-functional team comprises a group of team members from various functional departments or different fields of specialisation coming together to take care of a project assignment with pre-defined timelines. The members of the team can be deployed on a full-time or a part-time basis and once the task is accomplished the team is disbanded.

    In matrix teams, an individual may report to two bosses at the same time for two different nature of responsibilities associated with the project. While in case of contract teams, a part of the project assignment which is outsourced to the external vendors is supervised by the project manager who ensures that the project objectives are met within the stipulated deadlines and resources.

  10. Virtual Teams or Geographically Dispersed Teams: Virtual Teams operate from different geographical regions on a project assignment by using information technology as the primary medium of communication. Vital decisions are taken or information exchange takes place over e-mails, video-conferencing, voice calls and FAX.


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