Stages and Steps in the Process

Getting Started

A Collaborative Action Team must take time to do some "groundwork" to get the team started on the right foot. Assessing the school community environment to ensure that conditions are right to start Getting Started a team is one preliminary step. Another is to make certain all the right elements are present to support a healthy collaboration.

This stage involves learning about the Collaborative Action Team process, getting your team organized, and building a working team. Sometimes, the people on your team will be meeting for the first time. Other times, you may already be working together and want to learn the process before taking action. Steps in this stage include the following:

  • Introduce the Process
  • Gather School Community Information
  • Plan the First Steps

This stage provides the foundation for success. Complete this stage before you move on to any other.

Mobilizing the Team

Your Collaborative Action Team must now decide how to operate — including how the team will communicate and make decisions. You must begin to think about individual people to include on the team Mobilizing Your Team to ensure that the team is representative and diverse.

This stage involves deciding who should be part of the team and how the team will operate. Steps include the following:

  • Establish Representative Membership
  • Determine Communication Ground Rules
  • Build Common Understanding
  • Support Consensus Decision Making
  • Identify Shared Leadership Opportunities

Setting Direction

A Collaborative Action Team must have a vision for what the team wants to produce. This vision will guide team members as they move into action. As your team develops a team Setting Direction mission and goals, the members begin getting a clearer picture of the potential results they might achieve.

This stage involves creating a team identity and purpose, and agreeing on goals. Steps include the following:

  • Agree on a Vision
  • Identify and Prioritize Issues
  • Develop a Mission Statement
  • Set Team Goals
  • Communicate Your Message

Taking Action

As your Collaborative Action Team implements the action plan, the team will require monitoring and maintenance. Team members will find that some projects fall into place easily, while others require Taking Action hard work and constant attention. The team may also find barriers that need to be addressed in order to continue to flourish. At the same time, however, team members will begin to see positive results as the team progresses and change starts to happen.

This stage involves getting more specific about how you will achieve goals, share responsibilities, and monitor your progress. Steps include the following:

  • Develop Strategies
  • Determine Necessary Tasks
  • Establish Evaluation Methods
  • Monitor Progress
  • Expand Network Opportunities

Reviewing and Refining

As the team goes through the process, members need to take time to reflect on the team's challenges and to consider what changes to make in the future. This helps the team become stronger and more effective over time. Reviewing and Refining Your Collaborative Action Team will also have many successes to celebrate. Team members should be recognized for their contributions.

This stage involves celebrating achievements, reviewing what has worked and what has not and making adjustments for the next steps. Stage 5 steps include the following:

  • Assess Team Effectiveness
  • Celebrate Your Successes
  • Increase Effectiveness and Impact

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Published in Creating Collaborative Action Teams: Working Together for Student Success