Start smart

Start smart

StartSmart-logo-colors.svg

 

 

Start smart is a tool for starting and developing teams and groups. The tool can be used at the first meeting, or at any point in time during a team’s lifespan. In short, starting smart is about exploring:

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • Who are we?
  • How should we work together?

Give us your feedback!

We would like to hear your team’s experience with the tool. Please send us your feedback by e-mail:

startsmart@nhh.no

RESOURCES

  • FAQ

    FAQ

    • WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF START SMART?

      WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF START SMART?

      The purpose of Start Smart is to have a good start to teamwork. The overall goal of Start Smart is to encourage the team to discuss and agree on what they will work on, as well as the skills and expertise each person brings to the table, along with clarifying how the team will work together both professionally and socially. Additionally, Start Smart helps to clarify the different expectations, and it helps to build psychological safety within the team.

    • HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS CAN PARTICIPATE IN A START SMART WORKSHOP?

      HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS CAN PARTICIPATE IN A START SMART WORKSHOP?

      The available version of Start Smart is designed for up to six participants, however this can be flexible. Start Smart can be conducted with as few as two people, and if there are more than eight participants, it is recommended to divide the participants into three separate groups. Accordingly, for 12 participants, it would be recommended to divide them into teams of four and conduct each session within the team of the four. Afterwards one representative from each subgroup speaks on behalf of their group when presenting in the larger group of 12.

    • WHAT MEASURES SHOULD BE CONDUCTED IF NEW MEMBERS WERE TO JOIN THE TEAM WHO HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE START SMART WORKSHOP?

      WHAT MEASURES SHOULD BE CONDUCTED IF NEW MEMBERS WERE TO JOIN THE TEAM WHO HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE START SMART WORKSHOP?

      It is recommended to conduct a shorter version of Start Smart when one or more team members join the team. A possible approach to this situation is to have the new members provide comments on the established team contract and provide input or ideas for how they can contribute to the teamwork, as well as to share any experiences or suggestions they may have for modifying the team contract.

    • IS IT MANDATORY FOR EVERYONE IN THE TEAM TO PARTICIPATE?

      IS IT MANDATORY FOR EVERYONE IN THE TEAM TO PARTICIPATE?

      It is recommended that everyone participates in order to become a well-functioning team. This ensures that everyone's opinions are heard in terms of how the team should work together and how each individual should contribute to the teamwork. Not to mention that everyone gets the chance to get to know each other. All together this will contribute to creating ownership and commitment to the team.

    • HOW DOES START SMART CONTRIBUTE IN CREATING AN ENGAGING WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPANTS?

      HOW DOES START SMART CONTRIBUTE IN CREATING AN ENGAGING WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPANTS?

      Based on experience, some individuals may hesitate to work with "sticky notes" or engage in team-building activities. However, the feedback on Start Smart so far indicates that this tool differs from other tools and team activities. It is perceived as concrete and useful for the team, it does not require any special preparation, and it is perceived as easy to get started with.

    • HOW CAN I USE THE START SMART TOOL AS A NEW LEADER?

      HOW CAN I USE THE START SMART TOOL AS A NEW LEADER?

      As a new leader, it can help kick-start the leadership of a new team. It may be wise to consider whether to use a facilitator for the first workshop. It is also possible to do it yourself if you feel ready for it.

    • WE HAVE A CHALLENGING WORK ENVIRONMENT IN OUR TEAM. CAN START SMART HELP US?

      WE HAVE A CHALLENGING WORK ENVIRONMENT IN OUR TEAM. CAN START SMART HELP US?

      Start Smart is not a quick fix for conflicts within a team. However, Start Smart can be a restart for a team that has had an unfortunate start. Unclear goals, undefined roles, and unmet expectations are often sources of conflicts in teams and groups.

    • SHOULD THE START SMART WORKSHOP IDEALLY BE CONDUCTED BY A FACILITATOR, OR CAN THE TEAM LEADER ALSO CONDUCT IT?

      SHOULD THE START SMART WORKSHOP IDEALLY BE CONDUCTED BY A FACILITATOR, OR CAN THE TEAM LEADER ALSO CONDUCT IT?

      Both options are possible. Having a facilitator is often beneficial, as it allows the team leader to fully focus on contributing to the session. It is important to beforehand assess what feels right for the team leader; whether to participate as a member or to make adjustments and lead the process themselves.

    • IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE AN ADAPTION OF THE START SMART TOOL?

      IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE AN ADAPTION OF THE START SMART TOOL?

      Yes, it is possible to select the elements that are most relevant to your team. However, it is not advisable to exclude elements out of convenience (strengths/weaknesses/personal manual). The methodology behind Start Smart initially includes the elements necessary for establishing good teamwork.

      You can also choose to rearrange the order of elements in Start Smart. Some teams find it best to start with the "personal manual" before discussing individual ambitions and goals. This especially applies in cases where teams already have some familiarity with each other.

    • WHAT TYPES OF TEAMS CAN USE START SMART?

      WHAT TYPES OF TEAMS CAN USE START SMART?

      Start Smart is suitable for teams working towards a mutual goal and who are dependent on each other to achieve that goal. This can include different types of teams and groups, but it is important that there is collaboration between the participants and a need to communicate about the work tasks and possible solutions.

    • CAN YOU STILL CONUDCT A START SMART WORKSHOP IF YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN TOGETHER FOR A LONG TIME ALREADY?

      CAN YOU STILL CONUDCT A START SMART WORKSHOP IF YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN TOGETHER FOR A LONG TIME ALREADY?

      Yes, a team that has been together for a while can still conduct a Start Smart workshop. In that case it can be convenient to make certain adaptations. These adaptations could involve discussing the team's experiences regarding the various elements of the team contract (purpose, goals, etc.) and from there on determine if any adjustments need to be made.

    • HOW IS START SMART RESEARCH-BASED?

      HOW IS START SMART RESEARCH-BASED?

      Start Smart is a tool based on around 10 years of research conducted by Vidar Schei and Therese E. Sverdrup at NHH (Norwegian School of Economics). They have conducted various studies where they followed teams from their start-up and onwards. Through observations and interviews they further investigated the impact of the start-up of the team, on the team’s long-term effectiveness. Furthermore, they have conducted experiments to examine which elements should be discussed in a team's start-up to optimize the teamwork.

      The research altogether has been summarized in the Start Smart tool. For more information about the different studies, you can check out the articles available on the Start Smart website under "resources."

    • HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO REACH AGREEMENT ON THE VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF START SMART, AND HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE CONSENCUS?

      HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO REACH AGREEMENT ON THE VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF START SMART, AND HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE CONSENCUS?

      In the workshop itself, reaching agreement is not crucial. The most important aspect is to bring forth everyone's perspectives on the different elements. However, if there is significant disagreement, it is recommended to allocate time after the workshop to discuss and work towards consensus on the various elements. Here you can use the “parking lot” for pinpointing elements that should be discussed later.

    • HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO DOCUMENT WHAT IS AGREED ON IN THE TEAMCONTRACT?

      HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO DOCUMENT WHAT IS AGREED ON IN THE TEAMCONTRACT?

      We recommend appointing someone, preferably the facilitator (or team leader), to transcribe and summarize the various points that were raised in the discussion of the teamcontract. This becomes the team contract that can be used and referred to after the workshop. Having the points transcribed and summarized makes it easier to follow up later, especially when adjusting the contract during a follow-up.

    • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PURPOSES AND GOALS WITHIN THE TEAMCONTRACT?

      WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PURPOSES AND GOALS WITHIN THE TEAMCONTRACT?

      Purpose refers to the team's overarching ambition. Goals on the other hand, is related to the team's deliverables and should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

    • I NEED TO CONSULT SOMEONE WITH KNOWLEDGE ABOUT START SMART, WHO CAN I CONTACT?

      I NEED TO CONSULT SOMEONE WITH KNOWLEDGE ABOUT START SMART, WHO CAN I CONTACT?

      You can contact AFF using the contact persons listed on the Start Smart website.

    • WHAT SHOULD WE DO AFTER CONUDCTING A START SMART WORKSHOP?

      WHAT SHOULD WE DO AFTER CONUDCTING A START SMART WORKSHOP?

      It is important to make note of what you agreed upon in the team contract and after 2-3 months, conduct a Start Smart follow-up. Check the specific tool (coming soon) for more information.

about start smart

Start smart is based on 10 years of research on the starting phase and development of teams at NHH. The tool has been developed in collaboration with UiB and AFF. AFF has extensive experience with facilitating Start smart workshops. Contact harald.engesaeth@aff.no in case you need assistance.

CONTACT US

startsmart@nhh.no

testAsset 4Startsmartmonster.svg