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Susan M. Heathfield

Develop Team Norms and Guidelines

By September 29, 2013

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Every team has two components that team members must pay attention to if the team is going to succeed. The team must pay attention to the content (or goals or outcomes expected). The team must also carefully shape and monitor the process it uses to accomplish the goals.

In fact, the most common figure I have seen for team process versus team content is that 80% of the problems a team experiences are due to process issues. Only 20% are affected by the goals and the content of the team's work.

Consequently, I recommend that every team take the time to develop its norms or relationship guidelines. This gives team members appropriate expectations about how team members will act with each other and accomplish their work. Here are the steps to use with your team when you develop your team norms.

Use these sample team process norms as an example of the guidelines that a team might use to effectively conduct its business. You can use these team process norms as a starting point, but each team must generate and commit to its own team norms.

New to team development? You might want to start by reviewing my frequently asked questions (FAQs) about teams for the basics.

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