course outline

course outline

Guidelines for Writing Team Contract

Your team will work together to complete the collaborative projects in ITIS1P97 this term.


According to concepts from Organizational Behavior, there are five stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. During the forming stage, teams tend to communicate in indirect polite ways rather than more directly. The storming stage, characterized by conflict, can be often be productive, but may consume excessive amounts of time and energy. In this stage it is important to listen well for differing expectations. Next, during the norming stage, teams formulate roles and standards, increasing trust and communication. This norming stage is characterized by agreement on procedures, reduction in role ambiguity, and increased “we-ness” or unity. These developments generally are precursors to the performing stage, during which teams achieve their goals, are highly task oriented, and focus on performance and production. When the task has been completed, the team adjourns.

To accelerate a team’s development, a team contract is generated to establish procedures and roles in order to move the team more quickly into the performing stage. This process of generating a team contract can actually help jump-start a group's collaborative efforts by immediately focusing the team members on a definite task. The group members must communicate and negotiate in order to identify the quality of work they all wish to achieve, and the level of group participation and individual accountability they all feel comfortable with.

Successful team performance depends on personal individual accountability. In a team environment, individuals are usually effectively motivated to maximize their own rewards and minimize their own costs. However, conflicts can arise when individualistic motives or behaviors disrupt team-oriented goals. For example, conflict can stem from an unequal division of resources....

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