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Team Building Program



A Training and Development Program Specifically Designed to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration


































































Improve teamwork and collaboration


Based on our extensive experience working with all kinds of teams, we have found that five essential activities must be completed if team-building programs are to be effective.  These activities are:

1. Assessment

To give participants a complete understanding of their ability to work effectively as a team and collaborate.

2. Training

To deliver a formal presentation of concepts relating to teamwork and collaboration tailored to the actual needs of team members.

3. Active Team Building

To create a workable and effective Team Operating Agreement that sets forth the way the Team will operate and that is developed and agreed to by all active Team Members.

4. “Real” Team-based Work

To give team members an opportunity to perform “real” work as a team using principles agreed to and embodied in the Team Operating Agreement.  Possible work activities may include: strategic planning, budgeting, project planning, process improvement, etc.

5. Follow-up and Support

To provide ongoing and active on-the-job coaching and support (delivered by experts) and strengthen collaboration.


This program improves the ability of individuals who work as a team to work together and collaborate effectively – with one another and with others.  During the training, they gain awareness and skills needed for effective teamwork and collaboration, and they work together to: (1) identify the strengths and weaknesses of their teamwork and collaboration; (2) perform “real” work while using new skills and behaviors in a “safe” environment; and (3) develop an Action Plan to build on strengths, minimize or eliminate weaknesses, and maintain continuous improvement.


Typically 5-10 days depending on the number of participants and the nature and scope of the “real work" activity.

Detailed Program Description

1.0   Introduction and Assessment

  • Introduce the Program.  Program facilitators explain that the program is designed to identify strengths and weakness; provide opportunities to perform “real work” using new skills and behaviors in a “safe” environment; develop an action plan for building on team strengths and minimizing the impact of obstacles or eliminating them altogether; and provide just the right amount of on-the-job follow-up and support. 

  • Conduct Diagnostic Survey.  Participants are asked to assess the degree to which key elements of effective teamwork and collaboration are typically practiced when team members interact or work together.  The Survey includes 44 distinct elements -- factors such as commitment, integrity, ownership, and role clarity.

  • Build Collaborative Capabilities – An Interactive Design Session.  The Interactive Design Session presents information about what collaboration is, why organizations need to improve it, what factors affect collaboration, and how organizations can build these essential capabilities.

During the session participants are asked to:

  • Review a definition of collaboration and amend it to “fit” the particular needs of their organization.

  • Complete a brief survey focusing on why organizations need to improve their collaborative capabilities.

  • Consider what factors enable and disable collaboration in their organization.

2.0   Survey Feedback and Formal Training

  • Present Survey Feedback and Discuss Implications.  Survey results and information collected during the Interactive Design Session are presented and participants are given an opportunity to review and discuss survey findings in small groups and present their insights and conclusions.   Survey data helps to define the team’s “current state” as it relates to teamwork and collaboration and allows participants to compare their results to an “ideal state.”   While we do not take the position that an organization must achieve the “ideal state” for each and every variable in order to be effective, we do believe the “ideal state” represents an appropriate set of targets for every organization.  Therefore, we have found that when a group understands its “current state,” and it is presented with an “ideal state,” it can more easily define for itself a new “desired state” – a realistic and appropriate set of targets group members can jointly commit to achieving

  • Provide Formal Training Session in Teamwork and Collaboration.  A formal presentation of concepts related to teamwork and collaboration (tailored to the actual needs of team members) is provided.  Many topics include activities that reinforce training concepts.  The topics are listed below.  Ones with associated activities are identified with an asterisk.

  • Definition of Teams *

  • Types of Teams

  • Why Team? *

  • Benefits and Drawbacks of Teams *

  • Prerequisites for Effective Teams -- Team Charter/Operating Agreement/Vision Statement *

  • Characteristics of Effective Teams

  • Characteristics of Effective Team Members

  • The Team Development Sequence

3.0   Active Team Building

Develop Operating Agreement: Participants are guided through a process whereby they develop a team-specific Operating Agreement – a set of principles developed and mutually agreed to by all team members.  These principles establish a framework for respectful, honest, open, and trust-based interaction between team members.  To develop the principles, participants are asked to:

  • Consider and list the relevant problems (or opportunities for improvement) associated with each of the relevant principles.

  • Develop each Principle and express it in a clear and concise statement that describes the principle to be adopted by the team as its own.

  • List expected benefits of adhering to each principle and suggest action steps to promote the successful implementation and use of each one.

4.0  “Real” Team-based Work

Perform “real” team-based work.  Participants perform “real” work as a team using skills learned during the formal training sessions and principles agreed to and embodied in the Team Operating Agreement.  Possible work activities can include strategic planning, budgeting, project planning, or process improvement.  During these sessions, facilitators provide appropriate support and reinforcement but progressively rely more on the participants themselves to regulate and guide team-based activities and work.

5.0  Follow-up and Support

Provide Coaching and Follow-up Support and Reinforcement:  Program Facilitators attend two to four team meetings and/or participate in other team-based activities.  On these occasions, facilitators provide appropriate coaching support, follow-up, and reinforcement (individually and during team meetings) to promote desired behaviors and help resolve conflicts and unresolved issues.  As with any coaching and follow-up activity, the real intent is to help team members correctly apply concepts learned during the team-building program; immediately deal with road-blocks and other impediments; and effectively help one another and the team as a whole to achieve new and improved levels of performance and results.  








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Last modified: March 04, 2016