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Team Launch System

A Team Lifecycle Management System

Team Launch System is a phase/gate system for team development that provides a defined process for building high performance new product teams and major project teams. It accelerates team development and maximizes team performance throughout the team lifecycle.

Most organizations approach team development with a collection of tools, techniques, and teambuilding activities. This creates a people-centered approach that subjects team development to all of the people problems that can reduce performance. TLS creates a knowledge-based approach to team development. Everyone knows what to do and is focused on the process, not each other.

TLS integrates all of your teambuilding tools, techniques, and activities into a single defined process — a process that increases the efficiency and productivity of team development just as Phase/Gate systems have increased the efficiency and productivity of new product development. TLS assures a team does the right things; right the first time.


  1. Defined Process — TLS is not a teambuilding activity; it is a defined process for team development that accelerates team development and maximizes performance over the team lifecycle.
  2. Clear Deliverables — TLS provides specific deliverables for approval at the end of each phase.
  3. Versatility In Application — TLS is a highly versatile system that can be adapted to a wide range of product and project teams.
  4. Facilitator Guides — TLS provides facilitator guides for leading the team through each task in the system.
  5. Worksheets — TLS Worksheets allow team members to prepare and share their thinking prior to each team work session.
  6. Cyber SpaceThought Trees move collaborative thinking into cyberspace to dramatically increase team productivity.
  7. Best Practices of High Performance Teams — TLS is based on the best practices of high performance teams in excellent organizations.


  1. Knowledge Based Teams
  2. Stronger Team Leadership
  3. Self-Maximizing System
  4. Better Resource Utilization
  5. Increased Collaboration between Teams and Management
  6. Increased Accountability
  7. Increased Motivation and Commitment
  8. More Agile and Responsive Organizations

Team Launch System:
Product Specification

TLS Phases and Milestones

TLS organizes team development into four Phases — Orient, Organize, Action and Results. Regardless of the size, composition, or purpose, all teams must go through these Phases to achieve high performance.

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The Orienting Phase is focused on a situational analysis to determine the importance of the team to the organization, the urgency with which the team must act, and the level of power, influence and support the team will experience — the team figures out what they are “really getting into” and what challenges lay ahead.

In the Organizing Phase the team defines its mission, goals, strategies and structure. These milestones turn a “collection of individuals” into a “team” with clear purpose and direction. This Phase requires high levels of participation to maximize team member ownership and commitment to the team's mission, goals and strategies.

In the Action Phase the team starts implementing its goals and strategies. The team becomes the integration point for all related activities and a driving force for overcoming the many obstacles and challenges that will arise. This Phase requires a collaborative relationship with management to resolve conflicts and manage the inevitable trade-offs between costs, quality and cycle time.

In the Results Phase the team maximizes results by assuring its actions are fully implemented. It maximizes the organizations return on its investment by documenting results, sharing learning, and providing recognition for contributions to the team success.

TLS expedites teams through the Orienting and Organizing Phases of team development and increases team performance in the Action and Results Phases.

TLS Workshops

Overview & Agendas

Team Launch System:
Overview — 1 day

The overview workshop teaches the basic elements of the Team Launch System. It is ideal for team leaders, team members and those who would like to evaluate the Team Launch System for their organization.

The workshop overviews the three main elements of the system:

  1. Team Tasks — A phase/gate system that defines what tasks a team must do, and the sequence in which they must do them. This creates an extremely clear roadmap to high performance.
  2. Team Processes — Defines how each task should be accomplished to maximize results and build ownership and commitment.
  3. Productivity Tools — Worksheets that can be loaded into collaboration and document sharing tools to increase team productivity. Optional Thought Trees move collaborative thinking into cyberspace.

Organizations can use this workshop to institutionalize a defined process for team development that establishes a common language and productivity tools to develop teams faster, better, and at lower cost — every time.

Public Workshop — January 21, 2008. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Team Launch System:
Leader Training — 2 days

The Leader workshop is designed for team leaders. They learn how to implement the Team Launch System to build a high performance team and lead it through the team lifecycle.

This skill building workshop focuses on the three main elements of the system:

  1. Team Tasks — The leaders learn exactly what they have to do to build a team and how to adjust the system to the type of team they are leading.
  2. Team Processes — The leaders learn how to facilitate the team through each task in the system to create strong team dynamics — personal, interpersonal and group — and maximum results.
  3. Productivity Tools — The team leaders learn how to use Worksheets to prepare team members for team work sessions, reduce time in meetings, and make meetings far more productive.

This workshop dramatically increases team leader confidence and performance. The leader goes into the team development process knowing exactly what he or she must do and how he or she must do it. A well organized and confident team leader quickly builds credibility with team members and legitimizes his or her ability to lead.

Team Launch System:
Leader's Guide

Participants in both workshops receive a copy of the Team Launch System: Leaders Guide. The Leaders Guide provides an overview of the Team Launch System phases and the milestones and tasks within each phase. The Leaders Guide is so comprehensive that even an inexperienced team leader can use it to create a high performance team.

The Leaders Guide contains:

  1. Overview of the system
  2. Overview of milestones and tasks in the system
  3. Step-by-step process for building a high performance team and leading it over the team lifecycle
  4. Facilitator Guides to lead each activity in the system
  5. Worksheets for team members to prepare and share for team work sessions

The guide also includes a CD with worksheets and leaders guides. Materials are in both PDF and MicroSoft Word format. The Word document allows team leaders to customize the worksheets for their teams and/or organizations.

Team Launch System Workshop


I. Team Life Cycle Management (TLM) — Agile and Responsive Organizations

II. Critical problems with our current approach to teams

III. Team Launch System — A Phase/Gate system for team development

  1. PRE-LAUNCH — Getting the team off to a running start!
  2. ORIENT Phase — Establishing team priority — importance, urgency, & probability of success!
  3. ORGANIZE Phase — Focusing a team and organizing it for success!
  4. ACTION Phase — Maximizing collaboration and adjusting to learning and changing circumstances!
  5. RESULTS Phase — Maximizing results and the organization's return on its investment!

IV. Teams in Cyberspace — Collaborative Thinking


Workshops are customized to meet your specific needs and to incorporate your team collaboration tools, techniques, and activities into the workshop to build on what you are already doing. Customization ensures each workshop achieves maximum results and is culturally appropriate for your company.