Team Logistics and Routines
The way the Team works together impacts the motivation of the people on the Core or Implementation Team to continue the work. Some tips to make meetings, and the resulting work, productive:
Provide Structure and Identity for the Team
Develop a description of the Core and Implementation Teams. Include the purpose for the Team, and the role and the responsibilities expected of Team members. Consider creating a unique moniker and/or logo for the Team, to be used on products developed by the Team or on promotional items (magnets, pens, bags, etc.) distributed by the Team. Other details, such as those below can also be incorporated into the Team descriptions.
A Team needs someone to steer the Team and be the point person for communication. A Team Leader does not singularly direct the work, but does ensure it keeps moving forward. The Leader will need the skills and support to be effective. Consider making the role of Leader as a ‘rotating’ responsibility – e.g., 2 years an education representative, next 2 years, a County Board of DD representative, and so on, giving each agency represented on the Team a turn. A co-coordinator could also be appointed, perhaps reps from different agencies. Staggering the co-coordinators terms of service can make the transition to a new leader more seamless.
Set regular meeting dates/times in advance
Have meetings on a regularly occurring schedule, such as second Tuesday of the month, allowing busy people to get them on their calendar. It is much easier to change an existing date than to attempt scheduling several people on the fly.
Decision Making Process
Decide how the Team will make decisions. When it is unclear whether or not a decision has been made, everyone is confused and commitment to moving forward is jeopardized.
Have an agenda
Prepare an agenda for every team meeting, virtual or in person. An agenda provides structure for time the Team is devoting to the work, making it more productive and respectful of people’s time. Have a clear start and end time for meetings. That way everyone can schedule other responsibilities around that time. Consider a ‘standing agenda’, comprised of topical areas such as:
- Follow-up from last meeting
- New business
- Upcoming events
- Review progress
A standing agenda makes it more efficient than putting together an agenda from scratch each time – items of timely import can be added under the appropriate topical area. Periodically review/revise the standing agenda categories to ensure they remain accurate to the areas the Team needs to discuss.
Establish an orientation process for new Team members
Whether as a planned succession or an unexpected occurrence, the Core and Implementation Team members will change. Discuss and document a process for orienting new Team members to the work. Organize a set of materials, including a description of the orientation process, to use as new members join the Team. Materials might be organized into a binder, included on a website, housed electronically or created into a slide or video presentation. Some ideas for materials to include: description of expectation of Team membership; a list and contact info for current Team members; the plan (or access to it); brochures, directories or other products of the Team; a brief, narrative update of past Team activities and plan for future ones; any Team promotional materials; a brief history of the Team that includes names of the original Team members, the Team’s purpose and vision, the Team’s origin; summary of Team’s initial products, events, trainings, etc.