Practical Project Aristotle: Bringing Google Team Effectiveness theory to life in your teams
A team is “greater than the sum of its parts”, but what does this mean in practice? Using insights from Google’s Project Aristotle research, we explore ways of getting feedback quickly to empower and improve team high performance.
In this session we will cover the 5 traits of High Performing Teams as defined by Google’s well-known study on team effectiveness:
- Psychological Safety
- Structure and clarity
Using insights from a two-year data-driven survey run across 180 employees and multiple Agile Teams, we will cover learnings, tips and techniques to help you run the same in your teams.
If you are interested in the answers to these questions: How do we use this theory in practice in our teams? How do we improve team effectiveness using feedback from our teams? How do we empower leadership with data to improve and increase positive traits within teams?
Join the session to find out more...
Outline/Structure of the Talk
Introduction to Project Aristotle: 5 min
To set the context of the session, we will cover a brief introduction to the Google Project Aristotle and its findings. On a quest to build the perfect team, Google discovered key traits that are present in high performing teams. What is the importance of this research? Why is this important for you and your teams?
A brief overview of the 5 traits: 10 min
Next, we will go into the 5 traits identified and what they mean. Using definitions, examples, we will cover these traits as they may show up (or not) in your teams.
- Psychological Safety – “I feel safe to share ideas and opinions with my team”
- Dependability – “People in my team get things done on time and meet a high bar of excellence”
- Structure and clarity - “We as a team have clear roles, plans and goals”
- Meaning – “The work I do is personally meaningful to me”
- Impact – “The work that we do makes a difference in our organisation / to our colleagues / to our customers”
As a handout, attendees will receive lists of questions that help illustrate these 5 traits should they wish to rollout a survey in their teams or organisations.
Experience Report: 10 min
To illustrate that this can be used in a practical way, I will give an experience report of using a High Performance Team Survey in a bank in South Africa. From pilot to rollout across an entire Technology Department (150 – 180 team members) over 2 years and still running.
I will show examples of data and reports (removing names and sensitive data) to give inspiration and techniques on how this can be run.
This was run using Microsoft Forms, Excel and PowerPoint, so no need to proprietary software or additional costs.
How can this apply to your teams? Tips, tricks and principles: 15 min
What does this mean for your team? Let’s look at factors to consider if you wanted to implement a similar data-driven survey in your teams. We will cover:
- Understanding your environment
- How to get buy-in from leadership and colleagues
- Tools – how to implement in a lean way, without massive cost or proprietary software
- Feedback and communication –ways to communicate results
- Post-feedback actions and support*
*Handouts and resources will be shared with more information for leadership and team member support if results are low. I.e. how to build Psychological Safety in teams, techniques to define roles and responsibilities, etc.
Questions and answers: 5 min
Time for questions and answers.
- Learn the importance of High Performance Team traits and characteristics in teams
- Apply traits in data-driven survey format
- Construct communication plans, actions and support material to support feedback
People looking to improve team high performance and feedback channels within their teams or organisations. Can be used within team retrospectives, or scaled to organisational level.