Team management refers to techniques, processes and tools for organizing and coordinating a group of individuals working towards a common goal—i.e. a team.
Several well-known approaches to team management have come out of academic work. Examples include the Belbin Team Inventory by Meredith Belbin, a method to identify the different types of personalities within teams, and Ken Blanchard's description of "High Performing Teams".
The 'Team Development Model', identified by Bruce Tuckman, offers a foundational definition of the stages teams go through during their lifecycle. Those stages are labeled Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.
While the activities of team management are not new, many of the tools used by team managers are. The more Organizational Development-oriented practitioners often use interview-based analysis and provide reportage and insights that team leaders and their management may use to adapt team practices for higher performance. Teams can also be developed through team building activities - which can also be used simply to build relationships where team members lack cohesion due to organizational structure or physical distance. Project managers may approach team management with a focus on structure, communications and standardized practices.
With the growing need to integrate the efforts of teams composed of members from different companies and geographies, organizations are increasingly turning to a new class of Internet software for team management. These tools combine planning and collaboration with features that provide a structure for team relationships and behaviors. In addition, there are tools that facilitate the forming of highly productive teams through analysis of personality and skills profiles.
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