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Management 538:

Teams and Projects


Session 4-1
X-Teams

X-Team Development
1)

Select Members and Set the Stage


2) Begin Exploration
3) Engage in Exploitation
4) Follow through with Exploration

Iterative Cycles
Scouting
Ambassadorship
Task

Coordination
Extreme Execution

1. Select Members and Set the


Stage
Select

team members for what they know


and who they know
Create a culture of success
Build psychological safety
Learn about what team members know (skills
and expertise)

2. Begin Exploration
Explore

task, environment, the customer,


technology and competition
Identify all who will be impacted by team
Scouting: investigate organizational terrain
Ambassadorship: Link team goals to
organizations goals and get buy in
When complete: will have good idea of who
are their supporters and sponsors

Task

Coordination to identify dependencies


(inside and outside the company)

By the end of this phase: will have identified its


task as well as the people outside the team who
will be needed to help the team meet its goals

Extreme

Execution: develop strong internal


team norms and practices

By the end of the phase: members should trust


each other and work together well

3 Engage in Exploitation
Team

ready to focus on implementation and


execution
Scouting (organizational terrain)
Ambassadorship (link to strategic objectives)
Task coordination (work with other teams and
others in organization to manage
dependencies)
Extreme execution: reset team norms and
activities

4 Exportation
Exporting

project to the rest of the organization


Transfer the excitement, motivation, and tacit
knowledge from the team to those who take on
the next phase (handoff)
Scouting (organizational terrain)
Ambassadorship (communication & buy-in)
Task Coordination (dependencies)
Extreme Execution (team norms)

Details on X-Team Steps


Following

slides provide a more detailed


perspective on the 4 major steps

1) External Activity: Scouting


Team

members must acquire the information


that is critical for them to carry out their task.

This is both inside and outside the organization.

Read

and understand the context.

External Activity: Extensive


Scouting
Too

much of a good thing.


May lead to analysis paralysis and impede
the ability to move from exploring an idea to
implementing it.
A continuous search may lead to floundering
and deadlines are missed.
But, with poor scouting, teams may be less
creative and miss the mark.

External Activity: Three Types


of Scouting
1)

Investigating the organizational terrain


(within the organization)
2) Investigating customers, competitors,
current trends
3) Vicarious learning

Teams learn by observing others outside the team


or talking to them about their experiences.
Avoid making the same mistake as others

2) External Activity:
Ambassadorship
Managing

up the hierarchy

Marketing the project to top management

Links

the team with the key strategic


initiatives of the organization
Links the team to higher levels in the
organization and gets buy-in and support
from people with influence.
Helps the team manage the power and
politics that is a part of all organizations.

Cautions on Ambassador
Behavior
A

difficult and delicate dance


Teams that do not do well are those that
market and promote their team and the
teams product, even when there is not much
of a product to support.

Excel at marketing, but poor at implementation.

3) External Activity: Task


Coordination

Teams need to be able to coordinate, align, and


motivate cooperation from all team members.
Identify dependencies (interdependent relationships)
Obtain feedback from other groups/units/teams
Convince and negotiate with other groups, inside
and outside the organization, to get the task done

4) X-team Principle 2: Extreme


Execution
Execution

requires smooth internal


operations.
Externally oriented teams need a climate of
safety and reflection that enables them to
hold together the team members who must
deal with the pulls of external viewpoints and
internal conflict. (p. 88)
External information gathering creates the
prime setting for conflict and the need to
manage the conflict.

Extreme Execution
X-teams

combine high levels of external


activity outside the team with extreme
execution inside the team.
A means to manage the stresses from
divergent information from external sources.

Extreme Execution:
Psychological Safety
Team

members feel the team is safe and


comfortable sharing their ideas
interpersonally.

Able to take risks


Open discussions, good conflict, able to deal with
errors without blaming an individual, no hoarding
of information, able to ask for help.

Relies

on trust across team members.

Extreme Execution: Team


Reflection

Reflect to learn as you proceed on the team.


Debrief experiences at different points: end of
project, midpoint, at milestones
Revisit the big picture of the team, its vision and
direction on a regular basis or as needed.

Goes beyond what did we do well or not so well in


reflections.

Like trust, this is something that is best guided by a


team leader

Extreme Execution: Knowing


what Others Know
Sharing

of information within and across


expertise areas to make the team a sum that
is greater than its parts.

Tools for Extreme Execution

Integrative meetings: frequent core meetings


Participatory and transparent decision-making
procedures: fairness, invite all to share their ideas
Heuristics: boundaries about the processes and
decision-making when circumstances are
ambiguous; customer comes first
Shared timelines
Information management systems: tracking and
planning

X-Teams: Flexible Phases

Teams change their core tasks over the teams lifetime to


diminish a teams tendency to become stuck in one
mode of operating.
Three phases:

1) Exploration
2) Exploitation
3) Exportation

Scouting occurs in all three phases, but mostly in


exploration.
Ambassadorship also occurs in all three phases, but is
most evident in exploitation and exportation.

X-Team Phases
Tasks

X-Team
Leadership

X-Team
Activities

Phases
Explore

Exploit

Export

Discovery

Design

Diffusion

Sensmaking
& Relating

Visioning
& Inventing

Relating

Scouting
Ambassadorship

Ambassadorship
Task Coordindation

Task Coord.
Ambassador.

Sensemaking:

understanding the context in


which a team and its members operate.
Relating: developing key relationships within
and across the organization.
Visioning: creates a compelling vision of the
future and inventing new ways of working
together to realize the vision.

X-Teams: Flexible Phase


Exploration
Discovery
Teams

examine their external environment,


look into new directions, and consider
multiple possible options.
At this phase, the team thoroughly
understand the product, process, opportunity
or task that the team has undertaken

X-Teams: Flexible Phases


Exploitation
Design
Teams

must select one direction and take


action towards it and implement their
selection.
Use information from exploration to be
creative and innovate; move from creative
ideas to implementation.
Shift from divergent thinking to convergence
and commitment to one.

X-Teams: Flexible Phases


Exportation
Export
Teams

then must ensure that their work fits in


with the larger organization.
Transfer team member expertise and
enthusiasm to others who will continue the
work of the team, bringing the teams product
into the organization and possibly the
marketplace.