Group Coherence for Project Teams - A Search for Hyper-Productivity


is to create the conditions to make it possible for the group to experience coherence and remove the conditions that inhibit that possibility.

Activities in the pursuit of Group Coherence at the enterprise level have to focus on creating the circumstances that are conducive for project teams to shift into group coherence. This includes some training to identify known ingredients and manifest unique project ingredients to understand how their interaction might make a coherent state available to the group.

The intention / aim / hope at both team and enterprise level is to increase the probability that Group Coherence will occur at least once. The team is then aware of their shared state and become more likely to be able to reach it again in their current team of individuals or in a future team. From a project management perspective this objective is very enticing because knowing how to improve the team's ability to reach a state of Group Coherence could mean delivering the project in that "perfect rhythm and harmony with great energy to overcome obstacles."

Next Steps

We hope you find this material intriguing and we want to share some of the areas where we continue to explore the application of the Group Coherence research to Agile environments:

  • A backlog can enable clarity in project direction and effectiveness in delivering value. At a group level, defining a Common Purpose that is both strong and highly adaptable can increase the group's ability to execute on the project vision or enterprise strategy.
  • The understanding of the process of Collaborative Interaction can help us identify the group dynamics that prevented a team with 100% willingness to do pair programming from doing it at all.
  • While the Agile practice of continuous improvement is often justified in terms of software quality, the relationship between the individual and Group Experimentation and Creativity can describe the invisible benefit to the group dynamics and success.
  • In cases where Agile adoption needs buy-in from groups close to the development team, a training in Group Coherence concepts can help BAs, QAs and other teams understand and adapt to the new group dynamics being implemented.
  • Some leadership models are more suited to Agile than others. By applying Group Coherence concepts, the enterprise can unleash the emergent leadership characteristics that are shared by the group.

We want to share our thinking as guidance for the enterprise and senior management levels to enable teams to experience Group Coherence at least once and how this experience increases their self-reliance on the search for hyper-productivity.

About the Authors

Joanna Zweig holds a Ph.D. in Integral Studies with an emphasis on Learning and Change in Human Systems (how groups learn and Change) from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California and a Project management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Her research on Group Coherence was motivated by her practical experience in two collaborative professional fields where groups exceeded expectations and experienced enormous energy and success in their goals.

She is a project manager in information technology in large businesses for more than 15 years and a producer and director of theatrical productions for more than 20 years. Her passion for collaboration in creative groups helped her to formulate the idea of group coherence and carry out her four-year research project to find out about it. Her research on group coherence revealed a way to learn about capabilities of collective consciousness. She is currently an independent consultant and CEO of Integral System Response, Inc.

César Idrovo created his first hyper-productive team at JPMorgan London during 2000, in response to strong

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