GDQ Short – a new way of measuring team effectiveness

In conjunction with this year’s GDQ seminar on 14 September, we are launching a new tool for measuring team effectiveness: GDQ Short.

GDQ Short enables team development to be made available in new contexts and for more types of team:

Organisations with limited resources can offer team development work to both management teams and operational teams.

Organisations with limited resources normally choose to invest in developing management teams. Evidence-based interventions require thorough surveying and analysis of the team’s challenges. There is sometimes not enough time or enough finance for operational teams. This is where GDQ Short is a suitable option, providing the team with a snapshot of its stage of development. Accompanying debriefing questions enable the team to reflect on reasonable steps to be taken in future and then to follow up its work with further measurements. The short survey takes up a minimal amount of time, while at the same time it provides teams with valuable information that helps them chart a future course in their development journey.

Agile teams with the expectation of managing themselves. Our experience has shown that agile teams which are often characterised by an expectation of being able to manage themselves find it difficult to answer the statements on leadership in a full-scale GDQ where, for example, the statement “The members tend to agree to anything the leader proposes” is often irrelevant. The statements on leadership have been removed in GDQ Short. GDQ Short may therefore be better suited to measuring team effectiveness in agile teams. 

Large-scale projects with recurring measurements. GDQ Short is well suited to large-scale projects that involve recurring measurement of teams’ effectiveness, every three or every six months, for example. GDQ Short will also enable organisations to compile aggregated data in the long term in order to obtain a picture of team development over time. By implementing GDQ Short for a team every three months, for example, change can be captured and working methods can be adjusted.

Learning about team development in new contexts. GDQ Short forms part of the Miki Island project, in which information on team development can be collected through gamification.

A tool for promoting research In organisational psychology, efforts are made to achieve constant support for theories and models through empirical testing. GDQ Short is therefore also an attractive tool from a research point of view. A short form increases the likelihood of full participation in data collection. In the long run, this can further consolidate and illustrate groups’ stage of development in teams of different kinds.

How does GDQ Short differ from a full-scale GDQ?

In GDQ Short, the number of statements has been reduced to 13 items (compared to the original 60 items). Also, the instrument requests no demographic information and does not examine the subjective perception of productivity in the team.  Nevertheless, the statements contained in the survey capture the four stages: Dependency and Inclusion, Counterdependency and Fight, Trust and Structure and Work and Productivity. GDQ Short has been evaluated in an article with a number of subsidiary studies, all of which note the existence of a large overlap with a full-scale GDQ. 

One challenge faced by organisational consultants is motivating team members to fill in questionnaires. Offering shorter forms increases the chances that participants will set aside time and engage in data collection.

The smaller number of questions in a GDQ Short questionnaire means that no sub-scale analyses or sub-group analyses can be generated from the data collected. Nor does the tool capture certain aspects such as statements linked to leadership like a full-scale GDQ does. A full-scale GDQ is a tool that is better suited in cases where supporting data for interventions is to be collected for more detailed analysis. This is because many more aspects of group dynamics can be included in a full-scale GDQ in order to guide the group’s work going forward.

What does a GDQ Short report contain?

The report contains a theoretical summary of each stage of development, a graph of group data compared to norm data and a stage diagnosis showing the group’s stage determination. The report concludes with debriefing questions such as “What change does the group want to make in the current way of working during the next working period?” in order to encourage reflection and work on change using established stage diagnosis as a starting point.

Who can administrate GDQ Short?

You need to be a certified GDQ – consultant in order to administrate GDQ Short. At My GDQ Management you will find a guide to the process of creating a GDQ Short measurement and an example report.