Event Management

by Rus Slater

Team performance

The Tuckman model of team performance says that teams go through a series of stages:

  • Forming is the stage where the people come together and are introduced
  • Storming is the stage where the egos jockey for position and people check out each other and their relative position in the pecking order
  • Norming is the stage where we accept our relative positions in the pecking order and the acceptable behaviours are recognised
  • Performing is the stage where we have got all the previous stuff out of the way and we can get on with the job in hand, clearly knowing where we stand.

Consequently, it is strongly advised that any new event team should have a session to try to Form, Storm and Norm.

  • Get away from the workplace to meet the sponsor and event manager, understand the justification and the event objectives, discuss the plan, and generally get to know each other.
  • Discuss team communication, especially where the team members all have day jobs and line managers elsewhere in the organisation.
  • Agree a Team Charter of expectations relating to behaviours; in other words, agree to ‘ground rules’, rather than the actuality of the plan.

...on team ground rules

  • Are roles (minute-taking, finance, publicity and so on) clearly and publicly allocated?
  • Do we all understand and agree the objectives of the event?
  • Is there clear understanding as to what constitutes a quorum? (A quorum is the number of people who need to be present to discuss and make decisions; this might be a fixed number, a ratio of team members, or a sub-team of specified individuals.)
  • Is there clear understanding over what constitutes a mandate? (Is decision-making going to be delegated/empowered, unanimous or dependant on a two-thirds majority, either of all team members or of those present? Is a mandate the same for all things or different for, say, expenditure over X£?)
  • How often will we meet? Where?
  • Where will documentation be kept?
  • Is the full team required at all meetings? (If not, are the rules the same for quorums and mandates?)
  • How will we communicate between meetings? (This is especially important if we have Joint Venture representatives.)
  • What is the level of authority of Joint Venture reps? (Can they make decisions or do they have to report back for a decision?)

For more on this, see the topic on Teambuilding.