Team Startup – Free Download!

A complete guide for newly formed teams

The Team Start Up guide has been prepared to give some guidance to team leaders and/or facilitators working with newly-formed teams. These steps have been used successfully, in part and in their entirety, with different types of teams, including labor-management partnership teams. For best results, we recommend that a block of time be set aside for this activity when a team first begins meeting.

This Start Up guide will take a team through the first step of its process in which the goal is “Defining the Project’s Purpose and Scope”. The Start Up will also establish a healthy foundation for the team’s work. Products of this stage include:
– a clear and common understanding of the team’s charter,
– ground rules and operating procedures,
– defined roles,
– identification and understanding of the team’s interests,
– a vision of the desired outcome,
– a mission statement, and
– a draft work plan.

By the completion of this stage, each team member should correctly and confidently be able to answer the following questions:
– What is the project’s purpose?
– What problem or “gap” is the team addressing?
– What impact will closing this gap have on customers?
– What other reasons exist for addressing this gap?
– How will the team know if things are better?
– What is the team’s plan for this project?

Throughout the Start Up the team establishes how it will tackle and resolve issues and practices doing so. Trust, common understanding, and “teamness” begin to develop among team members.

The use of a facilitator is not required during the Start Up. However, when a facilitator partners with the team leader, the team leader has an opportunity to practice his/her team leading skills with the support of a facilitator. While the facilitator serves to introduce the use of meeting skills and model appropriate meeting behaviors during the Start Up process.

Special notes to facilitators are italicized throughout the Team Start Up Guide.

Note that the Team Start Up is intentionally a very structured process. Because the facilitator is teaching tools, techniques, and modeling behavior, we are trying to show the “text book” way things are done. As the team gets to know each other better, use of the tools and techniques will become less formal. If we begin by using the tools and techniques very loosely, the team may not learn them properly, or believe in their importance.

(generously donated by the Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland)

Table of Contents
Planning the Start Up Meeting
Room Preparation
The Team Start Up Meeting
Welcome Remarks by Team Sponsor/Team Leader/Facilitator
General Housekeeping
Introduction of Team Members
Discussion with Chartering Body Member(s)
Introduction of Facilitator
Explain Parking Lot
Getting Started – Gathering Data
Explain Consensus Decision Making
Establish Ground Rules and Operating Procedures
Establish the Team’s Interests
Identifying Interests – The Process
Create a Vision
Review the Charter
Develop a Mission Statement
Draft a Work Plan
Plan for the Next Meeting
Process Check
Appendix A: Consensus Decision Making
Appendix B: Mission Statement