Some common throughputs include:
Team processes. A sense of unity is created through sharing clear goals which are understood and accepted by the members.
Cohesiveness. This involves encouraging feelings of belonging, cooperation, openness and commitment to the team.
Communication. This involves being clear, accurate, open and honest.
Decision-making. This involves making sure that established procedures are in place, that everybody is clear about leadership and an environment of trust is being created.
Task and maintenance activities. These include activities that ensure that the task is produced effectively, such as planning, agreeing on procedures and controls. They also include activities that minimise threats to the process, such as monitoring and reviewing internal processes and dealing constructively with conflict.
In the case of the newsletter project, you may need to think about ways of setting up the project. Would it be possible to have a team awayday? If so, what would the themes of the day be? Perhaps you could work backwards from the finished product. How do team members envisage the newsletter in terms of aim, goals, content and look? Can they come up with an appropriate design and name for the newsletter? Then, what needs to be done in order for this to be produced? Some ground rules for working together may also need to be set at an early stage. Some throughput-related questions are set out in Box 3.
Box 3 Throughput-related questions
What can you do to build a sense of belonging among the team members?
How will the group communicate? (Face-to-face, email, group software?)
Do any ground rules need setting up? How can this be done?
What established procedures for decision-making are there?
Will there be a team leader? How will the person be chosen?
What tasks need to be performed to complete the project?
What maintenance behaviours does the group need to exhibit to get the job done and to benefit and develop from the experience?
Who will be responsible for ensuring that the different tasks and maintenance activities are performed?
Are there structures and systems in place to review processes?