Assembling a High-Performance Team

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to go over some of the many aspects of assembling amazing teams. You'll learn about selecting team members, assigning them roles, and orienting them.

Assembling Great Teams

If you want a team to do great things, you've got to assemble the right members first. It sounds easy, but it actually takes a lot of concerted effort to make this happen.

So how do you assemble a high-performance team in order to achieve a goal? Let's take a look at the components, such as the selection process, the assignment of roles, and orientation.

Selecting Team Members

When assembling a high performance team, you need to know what the team's objective and mission is going to be. Once you've defined that, figure out what skills are necessary for the mission at hand. Only then can you figure out what combination of traits you need from members.

These traits include:

  1. The technical skill-set to complete a given part of a project.
  2. Excellent communication skills
  3. A desire to collaborate and cooperate with other individuals

It's important that the mix of team members include a variety of strengths and skills that complement one another, as no one will likely have every trait you are looking for, nor be able to complete the project on their own.

Taking on Roles

So now that you've got the team, to whom do you allocate the work? Well, this necessitates a close look at each team member's strengths, weaknesses, desires and constraints (such as time). In some cases you may look for team members to volunteer for a role, but this may result in someone volunteering for something they are clearly unqualified for.

Let's say that you've got two team members, Jack and Jill. Jack is a highly experienced computer programmer and Jill is not. While a simple software development part of a project might be completed by both Jack and Jill, it's Jill who volunteers to take on the task. Is it a good idea to assign the task to her?

So long as you believe it is something she can accomplish within a defined period of time, then absolutely. While the safe bet would be Jack, Jack didn't sound too enthusiastic about taking on the role and it could be because he's looking for a more challenging role within the group. This is obviously something you can use to your advantage in the project. Have him work on the really specialized stuff no one else can do.

Orientation

Now that the team has been assembled and the roles have been assigned, you need to orient your team. Ensure everyone knows what their individual duties may be, but also have a clear team goal or vision right from the start that everyone will work towards. This is important in order to facilitate team work, which relies on people pushing aside self-interests and working towards a greater good.

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