Group or Team?

Is your group a real team, a work group, or something in between?

How you approach the development of your team or group will differ depending on the nature of the group, the duration of the project, the project scope, and the targeted project outcomes.  Don’t confuse a group with a team.  All teams are groups, but not all groups in an organization are teams.  The difference between a team and a group is that members of a team are interdependent for overall performance.  In other words, a team is created when members are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.  A group, on the other hand, consists of individual contributors, each vying for individual outcomes.

Teamwork is essential in today’s global arena, where individual perfection is not as desirable as a high level of collective performance.  A group qualifies as a team only if its members focus on helping one another to accomplish organizational objectives. 

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, project teams have emerged as a requirement for business success.  Projects range in size and magnitude, and team sizes vary.  But regardless of how short or long the project or how small or large the team, all projects are completed through groups, which tend to be complex from a management and communications point of view.

If you can improve group dynamics, you can improve project performance.  The stronger the group, the better the performance.  Therefore, all project team leaders should consistently facilitate the evolution of project groups into project teams. To achieve project success, everyone on the team must help one another achieve the project goal.

 How team-like are your groups?

 Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Your Project Office,



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