Analyzing the Team
It's not enough to know that a team has roles and needs; you must examine the team and see where it is strong and what parts are weak. You want to know not just whether team members fit in, but how they fit. What the team needs is a matter of balance — getting enough of the roles and positions filled so that it can operate in as harmonious and effective a method as possible.
You can't analyze the team until you examine what it needs. Those needs are grounded in the team's goals, which must relate to the organization's goals and principles. Ultimately, the team needs people who will carry out the goals. But for a moment, don't think of the individual members so much as the team as a whole. What are the goals? What actions do those goals require? What types of expertise and experience and resources does the team need to undertake the actions?
You cannot answer this question once and decide that the team is set for eternity. Its needs will constantly change with shifts in goals and organizational priorities, changes in team members, and other fluctuations that affect what the team is trying to do. Plan on this as part of your normal duties.
Team SWOT Analysis
Strength. Weakness. Opportunity. Threat. Analyzing these four pillars is a standard tool for strategic planning. In the case of a team, the leader — and even the entire team — looks at the group's strengths and weaknesses as well as what conditions and situations could help or hurt it.
The point is not to drown in detail but to look for significant issues that can have a major influence on what the team does and how it proceeds. You want to involve the entire team because this is an area where the activities of others may help them notice significant topics that you might not recognize.
Reconciling Your Knowledge
You're now ready to analyze what you've learned. Look at what the team must achieve, what it needs, and the considerations that might help or hinder it. When you have that, you can consider what the team should be and what it must do to get there.
In planning, you need to not only consider the team as a whole but to see how the members fit into it. Here is where you can consider the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and how they can best help the team goals. It is time to make some decisions, which means you should consider how your team approaches decision-making.