Level Up Your Team Performance

In their 1993 book, The Wisdom of Teams, authors John Katzenbach and Douglas Smith detailed a model to help identify the quality and characteristics of high-performance teams.

In their work, Katzenbach and Smith defined teams as

a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

Many leaders have taken hold of that definition without dealing with what it highlights: many leaders are guiding a collection of contributors–or working groups– but not truly a team, and the few that have a team are still far from high-performing.

Katzenbach and Smith noted that team progress is a non-linear path, as most teams evolve along what they called the Team Performance Curve:

As you can see, the hard work of team building comes with short-term setbacks before reaping the exponential rewards of high-performing effectiveness.

This infographic is a quick cheat sheet to identify the different stages of team development. Use it in your team retrospective to recognize strengths that you can amplify or identify areas of improvement for your next sprint.

If you are on the journey to becoming an agile coach, you will need to know what good looks like.