Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the right mix of skills, part of Building High-Performance Teams.
- As the leader of a high performing team, you're personally responsible for making sure your team has been required set of skills to succeed, and execute against all the initiatives that you have on your prioritization list. You need to evaluate your team's mission, you need to look at the key initiatives, and then you need to map out the skills and capabilities required to succeed. Once you've done that, you have to assess your existing team, and see which skills you have, which ones you don't, and which team members might be detractors from what you're trying to achieve.
You also have to think about and understand your team's culture, which is driven by the vision of what you're trying to achieve, as well as the broader organizational culture and figure out, "Do your team "members fit within that culture?" We've all seen people who are great performers and can get the task done, but they don't work well with the other members of the team. Your job as a leader, is to either help them fit in, or find resources who are going to be more appropriate fits for the broader team.
So you have to think about several types of skills that are required as you build this high-performing team. First, technical skills. Perhaps it's coding, or doing analysis, or writing, or creating documents, so those technical skills required to turn out the products and services your team is responsible for. The second type of skill is functional skills. Things like problem-solving, strategic planning, decision-making, communicating, presenting.
Those soft skills that people need to bring to the table, again to execute against the initiatives on your prioritization list. And the last type of skill is a little bit different than we traditionally think about which I call role-based or cultural skills. Things like, "Is this person a leader, or can they fulfill "the role of being the devil's advocate?" Are they your team optimist, the cheerleader? Are they the taskmaster who keeps everybody focused on achieving what's needs to be done on a particular initiative? So once you've identified the different types of skills you need you then need to assess your team.
Look at each team member and think about the types of skills they bring to the table. Think about their technical skills, and go ahead and list them out. "Hey this individual is great at analysis, "and they're great at writing code. "This other person is great at writing a budget." Look at the functional skills they bring. Look at the role-based skills, what informal roles do they play on the team? That person is my devil's advocate, they're the one who looks at things critically. When all of us are running down one direction, they're the person who offers the other perspective.
And list out what each of those people bring to the team. Next, look at some of the skills or characteristics the person might bring that are detractors from performance. For example if you have a creative team, that's trying to churn out a bunch of new ideas, but you have a balance that is focused more on those taskmasters who are saying, "Great ideas but let's focus, and let's get stuff done." The team might be out of balance with that set of skills.
And those things can be detractors that will prevent that team from being high-performing. Then based on that, look at each person and determine are they a fit for the team, or, do they detract from what the team's mission is? If they're a detractor, think about, "Can I change they're role? "Can I give them coaching and feedback? "Or do I need to think about redeploying this person to a new role because, candidly, they're probably getting frustrated and they're not happy here." And, the rest of the team is suffering because that person is detracting from the overall mission of what the team is trying to do.
And again your job as a leader is to make those difficult calls, and make sure you've got the right mix of skills on that team, to achieve that vision and mission you've laid out. Last, look at that list of required skills going back to the initiatives you're pursuing, and look at the team, and figure out which of those skill sets do you have, and then identify the gaps. "I need more people who work can code." Or, "I need some project management skills." And then your job as a leader again is to identify the types of people you need, and then go out and recruit and hire them.
So by understanding the technical skills, the functional skills, and the role-based skills required to deliver on your team's mission, you're going to be able to create the right mix of people, with the right skills that will help that team succeed.
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- Create a compelling vision and mission for your team.
- List the steps to conduct strategic planning activities.
- Identify the resources teams need to succeed.
- Determine the skills leaders need to look for when recruiting high performance teams.
- Explain how to create stretch opportunities for employees.
- Describe the primary components of conflict resolution.
- Build bench strength and succession plans.