Characteristics of teamwork

Teams and their cooperation

Robert Bosch once said: "Every job is important, even the smallest. No one should imagine that his work is superior to that of his co-worker. Everyone should work for the good of the whole.

And he's absolutely right about that. But getting the team to work together as a "whole" is not so easy. There are different types of teams. They differ in terms of their performance and cohesion (cf. Paul Watzlawick) .

According to Watzlawick, there is a difference between the factual and relational levels.

Lone wolf group

In a lone wolf group, there is hardly any emotional cohesion and no professional cooperation. Therefore, managers in such a constellation have to work in parallel on improving the factual and relationship levels in the team.

social group

In the "social group", too much time is spent on maintaining relationships or power struggles. It is therefore the task of the leader to encourage the team to strengthen the business level.


In the expert group, the issue level is high, but the relationship level is low. Performance is often quickly affected in difficult situations. This is because team members support each other in personal matters only to a very limited extent, as emotional cohesion is lacking.

real teams

In a "real" team, the factual and relationship levels are highly pronounced . The manager's task here is to keep the team flexible. In this way, the status of a "real" team can be maintained.

Scrum Team during Daily Scrum Meeting

"When everyone moves forward together,
then success
presents itself." - Henry Ford

The life cycle concept of teams

The life cycle concept of teams is based on the assumption that newly formed teams are not fully effective immediately. Instead, they go through different phases in which effectiveness and productivity develop gradually (Tuckman 1965, p. 384). The four different phases each focus on different things.

Forming phase

The focus here is on relationship building and thus the relationship level between the team members. A relatively long time is needed to get to know each other and to build relationships. The working or factual level is therefore of secondary importance at first.

The team needs a relationship manager.

Storming phase

In this phase of a team, the relationship level remains in the foreground, because it is about the distribution of roles.

The team now needs a mediator.

Norming phase

Here, expectations are set for the team members and the effectiveness of the team increases noticeably because the factual level gains weight and the relationship level loses such weight.

Help your team with good coordination.

Performing phase

Finally, in the Performing phase of teamwork, all the necessary group dynamic processes have taken place and the team can work together effectively. The factual and relationship levels are in balance.

Provide your team with a coach.

META helps you in every team phase

One approach for successful cooperation in project teams is Scrum. The development team is a small group of specialists who work together in a self-organised way. This ability to work together as a team works in single and multiple development teams.

META can help you with this!