The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile

Organizing Teams for Maximum Effectiveness

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Sometimes, great teamwork just isn't enough.

Good teamwork is fundamentally important in many organizations. All too often, however, team members are chosen simply because they happen to be available for a particular project.

So, have you ever been part of a team of hard-working and talented people, which has failed to achieve its goal? This may have been because people were assigned roles that didn't use their strengths, or because the team didn't have the range of abilities needed.

We're not talking about technical skills here – it's usually easy to make sure that your team includes individuals with the necessary knowledge and experience. But it's harder to make sure the team has people who are good at the more general aspects of work – such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision-making, planning, implementing, and fact-checking. When a team includes members who are good at each of these different roles, it is far more likely to be effective.

If we assume that people tend to be better at doing things that they enjoy, managers need to understand each individual's preferences. They can then bring together a group of people who have the "right" strengths – strengths that complement and balance one another – and they can put people in the best position to use these strengths.

One way to do this is by using the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile, developed by Dr Charles Margerison and Dr Dick McCann.

The Team Management Profile

The Team Management Profile is a psychometric tool (measuring things like aptitude and personality) that has been used in personal and team development for over two decades. The profile consists of 60 questions that explore how an individual at work prefers to:

  • Relate to others.
  • Gather and use information.
  • Make decisions.
  • Organize themselves and others.

From there, a profile is built that highlights a person's role preferences.

Margerison and McCann identified eight role preferences, and developed the Team Management Wheel shown in Figure 1 to describe them.

Figure 1 – The Margerison- McCann Team Management Wheel

The Margerison- McCann Team Management Wheel

 

The role preferences are as follows:

  • Reporter/Adviser – Enjoys giving and gathering information.
  • Creator/Innovator – Likes to come up with new ideas and different approaches to tasks.
  • Explorer/Promoter – Enjoys exploring possibilities and looking for new opportunities.
  • Assessor/Developer – Prefers analyzing new opportunities and making them work in practice.
  • Thruster/Organizer – Likes to push forward and get results.
  • Concluder/Producer – Prefers to work in a systematic way to produce work outputs.
  • Controller/Inspector – Enjoys focusing on the detailed and controlling aspects of work.
  • Upholder/Maintainer – Likes to uphold standards and values and maintain team excellence.

The "Linker" role, shown in the center of the wheel, involves integrating and coordinating the work of others within the team, and in relation to external interfaces. This role has to be done by everyone, although the team leader has particular responsibility here.

Tip:

These roles are quite similar to Belbin's team roles , although they're not identical. The fundamental assumption for both is that certain people prefer certain roles, and a well-balanced team has representation from a variety of preference types.

What the Results Show

The Margerison-McCann model assumes that people are more capable and motivated to perform the "Types of Work" that they prefer.

As such, the completed Profile identifies one major role as well as two relates roles for each person. It shows you:

  • Which roles each person prefers to play.
  • Where individuals are most likely to focus their efforts (the report provides a percentage of time that a person is likely to devote to various Types of Work).

The Profile report helps managers understand why people are motivated to do some things and not others. It also gives some insight into each person as both an individual and a team player.

Note:

Margerison and McCann also developed other related tools, such as the Types of Work Profile Questionnaire. This determines which of the eight Types of Work in the Team Management Profile (plus the additional "Linking" type) are critical for the various tasks that the team has to perform. This can be combined with the Team Management Profile to produce a report mapping a person's work preferences to the requirements of the job.

Another tool they developed is the Linking Skills Profile, which evaluates an individual's performance in key competence areas – such as decision making, leadership, listening, communicating, and delegating.

Using the Tool

The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile can be used in various ways.

As a manager, you can use the Profiles to examine whether you've assigned people to the right tasks. The more you match jobs to people's strengths, the better your team and your organization will be. And when you recognize patterns of work preference, it's much easier to assign tasks that people find motivating and rewarding.

This increased understanding of your team members also helps you prepare development plans that will excite your staff. If you demonstrate a high interest in individuals' preferences, that can go a long way toward building a strong work relationship – which leads to higher levels of staff satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

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Sharing the Profile results with fellow team members also helps increase overall team understanding and unity. For example, when Jim knows why Sally cares so much about details, and Jim understands that paying attention to detail is a relevant and essential role within the team, it's easier to find ways to get along and work together – even though Jim might be impatient and prefer to get things moving.

Tip:

To learn more about the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile, find out how to become accredited to use the Profile, or arrange for an in-company workshop, visit Team Management Systems Worldwide.

Key Points

Your teams may be highly structured and well established – or they may be informal, ad hoc, and even "virtual." Regardless of the type, it's important to understand team dynamics and measure team effectiveness. Teams are expected to perform well, which means that individual team members must perform their roles well. The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile helps you recognize the roles necessary for your team to operate at its best, and determine which individuals are best for each role.

By matching and balancing team roles and individual preferences, you have a formula for a high-performing team. When people work within their preferences, they're more capable and productive – and, as a result, the team operates more smoothly. The Profile helps you not only create stronger teams, but also develop skills and promote mutual understanding between team members. This makes it much more likely that people will work together effectively, and achieve their objectives.

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Comments (10)
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hi KerryB,

    What a great question! KerryB, you may not get many responses to your request here. I encourage you to create a post in the Career Cafe Central forum . The Forums are the best place to ask questions, seek advice and share ideas. Your request will be more visible to our members and you will receive input from a broader group. If you need guidance in creating a post in the Forums, let me know. I'm happy to assist.

    Michele
    Mind Tools Team
  • Over a month ago KerryB wrote
    I've been asked to provide a succinct comparison on this model vs Myers Briggs - has anyone had experience with both and could offer some insights - many thanks!
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hi Rose,

    Much like the strengths-based concept that is very popular today (Discover Your Strengths), the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile assesses your team to identify the individual strengths of each team member. Too often managers will try to fit square pegs into round holes, that is, assign work that does not leverage an employee's strengths. Understanding and assigning work based on the strengths of each team member not only creates a highly productive team, it creates a happy team. Individual team members do work that they enjoy doing!

    Thanks for your comment, Rose.

    Michele
    Mind Tools Team
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