Unfortunately, teams, team building, and team leadership are rare occurrences, as demonstrated by some common problems existing on teams . A team in trouble often exhibits the following characteristics.
It is riddled with negative conflict. Members think only of their needs to further their own agendas . Some team members , for example, prefer one approach towards executing a project while another seeks a different one; neither side yields and progress stalls.
Members are full of cynicism and distrust . No one trusts each other whether in thought, words, or deeds. As a result, people are hesitant, even afraid to speak, either out of fear or to gain advantage. They do not bother to communicate or share information.
A team pursues unclear goals and objectives. The reason for existence becomes unclear to the members. People start to focus on what is important to themselves rather than on the overall goals and objectives of the project. Team cohesion becomes nonexistent as the atmosphere becomes one of "every man for himself."
It lacks energy. Since most or all members lack enthusiasm , the entire team lacks it. Ideally, a team should exhibit substantial energy, at levels much greater than the sum of its members. What energy that does exist gets dissipated.
Members are misaligned , both internally and externally. A team may be internally misaligned with its very own reason for existence, manifested by doing insignificant and irrelevant activities. A team may be externally misaligned with higher goals and objectives by doing activities that do not accomplish the goals and objectives of a parent organization. Team members frequently exhibit "busy work."
A team lacks leadership, either by the leader or other team members. Instead, the team floats according to the circumstances that direct it. Its leadership lacks involvement for whatever reason; meaningful output rarely results.
From a project management perspective, these conditions can seriously impact cost, schedule, quality, and overall performance. Some indicators are unrealistic schedules and estimates; quality problems, e.g., rework and last minute "patches"; people problems, e.g., miscommunication , dashed expectations, failure to complete their tasks .