What is your team for? The question may sound obvious, but time spent at the beginning of a project in defining team objectives is crucial to a successful outcome. Make sure that you have clearly established the issues that the team needs to resolve.

Building a Consensus

Meetings are an excellent way of fostering team spirit and team-working habit in the early stages of a team’s existence.  Set up an initial series of meetings in which members can get to know each other and work towards a consensus about the goals of the team.  Make sure that the task the team has been assigned and the issues it will be addressing are fully understood by everyone, and assess all the options available to the team before deciding how the team will be organized. Finally, discuss and decide on achievable deadlines for all the elements of the project.

Harnessing Motivation

Ambitious, challenging goals are more motivational than smaller, specific ones.  For example, aiming to be biggest and best in retail financial services is motivational than trying to reduce average mortgage application approval to two days. If possible, set both general and specific goals, aiming high but remaining realistic. Ensure that everybody participates in setting their own goals, as well as the team’s. Do not compromise on any teamwork needs.  Look for the optimum combination of strong teamwork and technical abilities.

Analyzing Goals

Goals will be according to whether a team is there to recommend a course of action, to make or do something. For example, a task force that makes a recommendation can measure its success rates against feedback from within the organization. A “doing” or “making” team, such as a manufacturing cell, has specific costs and customer satisfaction targets to work towards. A team charged with running a marketing drive has to work to strict budgets and schedules.

Points to Remember

  1. All team members need to agree on a precise definition of what they are working towards.
  2. Goals should not be set until
  3. Although team members are needed to finalize team goals, the objectives of the team can also dictate membership.
  4. For best results targets should be challenging, with a combination of general and specific goals.


  1. Set challenging goals that are still realistic in view of your deadlines,
  2. Consider the aims of individual team members when setting targets. 
  3. Do not let failure of one part of a project jeopardize its overall success.

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