Group Working: Effective vs Ineffective Working
by Chris van der Leer on April 7th, 2017

​There are a number of factors which can influence a group’s ability to be effective or ineffective. Some of these aspects are controllable from within the group and some of them are external to the group environment, meaning that they cannot be influenced by the group.

Here are a few factors which can help to make a group endeavor more effective:  
  1. Using appropriate collaborative tools is essential to install the effectiveness of the group. Tools such as video conferencing, screen sharing and central data storage areas are important when working with a remote team, if the group attempts to collaborate via email may be less effective.
  2. Team building activities also play in important role to keep the levels of effectiveness high within the group. Having a healthy atmosphere between the group participants positively impacts on the group members and will help to maintain a high level of motivation and commitment to the group.
  3. Effective groups consist of individuals who have common levels of skill and experience. When working with my project team it definitely helps to have group members with similar skill level because it means that progress can be made much quicker. It also allows individual group members to be more comfortable in the environment and gives inexperienced group members the opportunity to learn more from their fellow team members.
  4. The equal and appropriate allocation of tasks is important in any group environment because a balance of work effort is important in order to avoid conflict and potential resentment. It is also clear that if tasks are appropriately allocated to those individuals who have the most appropriate skills, the task will be completed efficiently and effectively.
  5. Providing the individual group members personal development opportunities is a factor which will improve on the effectiveness of the group in the long run as it allows group members the opportunity to grow personally while expending work effort completing group related tasks. Additional training, mentoring or other improvement opportunities increases levels of motivation and therefore encourages group members to be more effective.
​It is worth noting however that external factors can lead the group to be ineffective. Often these external factors are not controllable by the group and sometimes are not avoidable. For instance, and organizations strategic direction can change unexpectedly, impacting on the group and its goals.
​This article is taken from a paper written by Chris van der Leer on the development of group processes. It is licensed under CC BY 2.0. This means that you are free to license and adapt the contents of this article by giving credit to the original author.

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