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Team Workshop - Session III. Summary of Brainstorming/Affinity grouping exercise from Session I (10 minutes) Some new decision-making tools (10 minutes) Concluding Activity (20 minutes) Process checks (5 minutes) Do actual checks as homework. Establishing Corrective Norms.

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Team Workshop - Session III

  • Summary of Brainstorming/Affinity grouping exercise from Session I (10 minutes)

  • Some new decision-making tools (10 minutes)

  • Concluding Activity (20 minutes)

  • Process checks (5 minutes) Do actual checks as homework

Establishing Corrective Norms

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Concluding Activity

Rationale: This activity concludes the exercise from first session which applied brainstorming and affinity grouping principles to identify some problems of student groups. Now we need to prioritize those problems and try to generate solutions for those that are the most important.


For each affinity group, identify those problems which your team feels has the greatest potential for causing problems if left unaddressed. A decision tool is required here (see the Modified Nominal Group Technique)

Generate a norm (i.e. a strategy) to avoid or to overcome the problem which you identified as the most serious in each affinity group (each team concentrates on a different affinity group). A useful tool here would be the Force Field Analysis.

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Problems of Student Project Teams - 1

  • Interpersonal Relations

    personality conflicts

    close mindedness, stubborn-ness, lack of flexibility

    bossy people

    bad communication skills

    lack of positive reinforcement from team members

    selfish behavior

    bad attitudes

    group members don’t like each other

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Problems of Student Project Teams - 2

  • Goals and Motivation

    varying levels of commitment among members

    different priorities

    not everyone wants to get an A

    people not willing to pull their weight

    lack of motivation, interest

    lack of responsibility

    no clear goals

    there may be tasks that no one wants to do

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Problems of Student Project Teams - 3

  • Scheduling

    scheduling problems, finding common meeting times

    varying course loads and other commitments among members

    weeks with lots of tests

    working over long distances

    interruptions during meeting times

    bad weather, fatigue, dinner getting in way

    rushing to get done may cause group to miss something

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Problems of Student Project Teams - 4

  • Resources

    lack of information

    insufficient equipment, supplies, materials

    crowded work areas

    lack of adequate computer resources

    lack of guidance by instructor

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Problems of Student Project Teams - 5

  • Organization

    deciding which way to approach the project

    different methods of working

    how to divide the work load

    group leader has too much work

    one person’s work depends on someone else

    grading of members (individual or group grade)

    inappropriate amount of supervision (too much or too little)

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Modified Nominal Group Technique

PurposeModified nominal group technique is a technique to help a team or group quickly reduce a large list of items to a smaller number of high priority items. The process elicits a high degree of team agreement and promotes team ownership. This tool is similar to nominal group technique but not quite as involved.


1. Count the number of items on the list and divide by three. This is the number of votes each person has. (Round fractions off to the lower number.) If the items number more than 60, do not go over a vote total of 20. Vote totals of more than 20 are hard to manage. Give each team member as many colored dots as she/he has votes.

2. Have each person use his/her votes (colored dots) to select the items he/she wants to keep. While each person can vote for any item, it is a good idea to limit the number of votes any one item can receive from a single person to three. Note: the team can decide if they want to allow more or less multiple voting.

3. List alternatives in their new prioritized order

4. Critically discuss the top alternatives in order to reach consensus. Eliminate those that are outside the control of the team

Modified Nominal


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Prioritization Matrix

PurposeTo prioritize tasks, issues, alternatives, etc. to aid in selecting what tasks, issues, alternatives to pursue


1. Generate a set of criteria to be used in establishing the quality of the decision

2. Construct an L matrix with options, etc. down the left and selection criteria across the top

3. Each person prioritizes the criteria by distributing the value 1.0 among the criteria (i.e., sum of weights is 1.0)

4. Sum the weights from each person for each criterion, the sum becomes the team’s weight for the criterion. Enter these weights in the L matrix in brackets -- each column will have the same number in each cell.

5. Going a criterion at a time, rank order all the options, etc. with respect to the criterion using the modified nominal group technique. Enter the vote totals for each issue into the L matrix.

6. Find the product of the vote totals and weight for each issue and sum these products for each row.

7. The rows with the highest sums are the issues of highest priority. Be sure to discuss any row which has a low total but seems like it should be retained.

Prioritization Matrix

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Force Field Analysis

PurposeA force field analysis helps teams find out what is driving, slowing, or not allowing change. The tool helps a team to work together, to find a starting point from which to take action, and to show both sides of the change issue.


1. On a board or large piece of paper draw a vertical line down the middle and a horizontal line across the paper near the top

2. Label the left column Promoting and the right column Preventing

3. Brainstorm entries for the left hand column.

4. Brainstorm entries for the right hand column.



Force Field Analysis

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Process Check

  • Apply the +/ method to each session of this team workshop:

    Session I - Team principles, brainstorming and affinity process, application of brainstorming and affinity grouping to problems of student groups

    Session II - Elements of successful meetings, application of meeting principles to space survival problem

    Session III - Establishing corrective norms, decision making tools, solutions to problems of student groups

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Plus/Delta (+/) Process CheckOn the Sessions

  • Take six Post-It notes

  • Fill out two Post-it notes for each Session (I, II, and III) as follows:

    • Mark one with a +

      On this + note write one thing about the Session that you thought was very good and should be retained.

    • Mark one with a 

      On thisnote identify one thing about the Session that could be improved. (Don’t just criticize; suggest an improvement.)

  • Post these notes in the place designated by the workshop leaders as you finish the session.

Process Check on Session I

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Process Check - continued

  • Was this workshop on team building potentially useful to you ?

    useless 1 2 3 4 5 very useful

  • Should this workshop be a regular part of this course ?

    strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 strongly agree

  • Should more or less time be spent on this material the next time this course is offered ?

    less time 1 2 3 4 5 more time

about right