To achieve Step 13, individuals will show that they can evaluate where a plan has been successful or not, and identify some of the lessons to take forward from that.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to reflect on progress while a project was underway and seek to make improvements along the way. This step builds on this by reflecting on the project once it is completed, drawing out what worked, didn’t work and what lessons could be learned.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Hopefully, your team set out with a clear goal that they were working towards, with targets and milestones to keep them on track. If all of this was in place, and you were able to successfully deploy the influencing and improving tactics of Step 12, then hopefully you have achieved your overall goal.
However, there are always a great deal of unknowns when a plan is put together, unexpected external events can knock things off course, and even low-probability risks can come to pass. At the very least, though, having milestones and clear, objective targets should mean that the eventual result is clear and not a shock.
Only thinking about this final result, though, is to miss out on a lot of valuable insight and learning that can be used in the future.
It is worth taking the same dimensions that we considered in Step 12 when considering what might have contributed to the overall success or failure of the project. The critical point though is that for this to be a useful shared reflection, it should be:
In this light, some of the questions that might form part of the debrief conversation might include:
For each of these areas, the crucial follow-up question is to ask is what could have been done differently to boost team morale over the course of the project.
In school or college, you are likely to take part in group team activities or decision making quite frequently, as an element of your learning. However, doing something often does not ensure that you are improving your skills, you may simply be repeating mistakes. A successful evaluation of your work as a team will enable you and everyone in the team to learn lessons and improve your effectiveness in the future.
In the workplace, you may be part of a team that only exists for a short period or for one task, but many teams are long-term: for example, a department within a large business or the whole workforce within a small organisation. The benefits of evaluating successes and failures can be considerable where the team is long term, as the lessons learned can be acted upon in the future, for example, to introduce agendas and minutes, or set milestones. However, in this situation, the ability to communicate and influence others in a constructive manner is even more important as poor communication can have a negative impact on relationships within the team.
In the wider world where everyone in your group is present out of choice, for example, sports clubs and community groups, the communication of what worked and didn’t work has to be handled very carefully. Individuals may take exception to someone ‘telling’ them what’s wrong or needs to be improved. The ability to influence others in a constructive manner is essential.
To best practise this step of Teamwork, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step can be helpfully reinforced whenever learners are working on a task together. It can be useful after a task for learners to have a few minutes to evaluate how it went, and what they could learn, using some of the questions above.
This step is best assessed through observation of a team through a group task. The teacher is looking to see evidence that learners can accurately evaluate their own performance, and to do so in a positive, non-judgemental way, focused on learning. Teams should be able to share back what they have learnt after their reflection.
This skill step is relevant to any individuals who work as part of a team on a project.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through discussion. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: