The team must obtain a common vision and purpose in all the members of the team


The leader of the project must instill a common vision and purpose in all the members of the team.   This is an overt action; you can't count on it happening automatically.  The leader should make sure everyone agrees on the following: What is the product supposed to do?  Who are the customers, and how will it help them?  What is the schedule or list of priorities, and everyone must feel personally committed to these.  Who is the competition?


Unity Of Purpose


There are alternative goals that can be established to obtain a unity of purpose, and alternate ways rather than coming from the leader, don’t get hung up on these details.  Everyone needs to share some common vision of what the project is doing, and why. 


“Every team goes through a development cycle:

 – Attributed to Fred Racey (Ref 1); probable origin Ref 2. 


Unity of purpose helps get through the ‘storming’ period that always happens as the team gets to know each other, and come out with a good team outlook.  It helps commitment thereafter, but beware BurnedOutWorkers; some restorative work may need to be done if you ever get there.


In modern, self-organizing teams, this unity of purpose must grow from within the team, as there may be no leader, or more likely, all are leaders in their own ways.  In these circumstances, it can help to have a statement of ‘Vision’ developed collaboratively during early stages of the project.


  1. Fred Racey – Coad Letter
  2. W. Tuckman and M.A. Jensen, “Stages of Small Group Development Revisited”, Group and Organizational Studies vol. 2 no. 4, 1977; pp 419-427