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Teamwork Exercise: Assessing the Strength of our Collaboration

Introduction

The work a team does together often determines its success. This exercise is designed to give your team a “snapshot” of its strengths and weaknesses along several dimensions of collaboration.

Exercise Purpose

The purpose of this exercise is to discuss and better understand the characteristics of a high performing team; assess the current state of the teamwork in your group; and begin to work on areas that will improve the functioning of your team.

Exercise Instructions

  1. Complete the collaboration survey. Answer the questions based on your own personal experience with your team. This is not a group exercise. Questions are to be answered individually. Please do not put your name on the survey.
     
  2. Aggregate the responses of all team members to each question by averaging scores.
     
  3. Based upon these averages, prepare a list of final scores to each question.
     
  4. Discuss the two items that scored the highest (low numbers) on the collaboration survey and why you believe this is so. Think of specific events or accomplishments that demonstrate these high scores.
     
  5. Discuss which items scored the lowest (high numbers) and why. Consider if any specific events caused lower scores for these items.
     
  6. Select three to five of the lowest scoring items on the list and propose actions that might help improve the scores.
     
  7. Your team should select someone to be responsible for ensuring that the team:
    1. Continues to discuss the highest priority (highest) scores and develops an action plan to address each; and
    2. Completes this exercise at 6–month intervals. (This step is designed to continue to improve your group’s collaboration and teamwork during the life of your work together.)
       
  8. Note these items on your team’s workplan.