Team Evaluation Memo

The Team Evaluation Memo is the final work product of an eight-week long collaborative assignment, The Consulting Simulation. This is the second module in Professional Writing, a course on workplace writing.

An Evaluation Memo is a common workplace genre.

The aim of an Evaluation Memo is not to blame individual team members for anything but rather to create information that a Manager (or teacher) can use to reward professional performance and mentor staff (or students).


Critique and evaluation plays a key role in learning regardless of whether that reflection occurs in a personal, school, or the workplace setting.

The extent to which supervisors evaluate employees or teams evaluate team members values greatly across work cultures. In consulting firms, it’s routine for the consultants to receive rigorous and extensive critiques of bosses, peers, and mentees. However, in some workplace contexts, critique can be random and even superficial.

Ray Dalio, a billionaire and Founder of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund, believes our dislike for conflict and critique cause us to avoid telling others our true assessment of their communications and actions. In Principles: Life and Work, Dalio argues businesses need to embrace meritocracies where people are radically honest and transparent about their assessments. He believes businesses flounder when their cultures don’t foreground performance evaluations.

In school contexts, teachers may ask students to evaluate other students’ work, especially after group projects. Evaluating the work of others can be difficult for social, personal, and emotional reasons. Some students may not fulfill their responsibilities–even if they agreed to them at the Team Charter meeting and subsequent team meetings.

As an evaluator of others, it’s important to be sensitive to others. People may have a variety of reasons for not performing, including health problems, personal crises, a lack of ability, or a fixed mindset. They may simply not care much about the assignment in school or task at work.

In work contexts, Project Managers and Group Project Managers (i.e., supervisors who lead teams of other managers) are also careful to consider group dynamics. They may consider whether interpersonal relations between members of the team thwarted group processes.

Additionally, self-evaluation can play an important role in weighing individual efforts to a group project. A reasonably competent manager needs to be sufficiently self reflexive that they realize when they contributed to the failure of a group. Good managers ask whether they could have done better to help the group achieve its tasks more successfully in less time.

Collaboration problems are common in both school and workplace settings. Sometimes these problems are called soft problems–i.e., problems associated with humans working collaboratively. Strictly speaking collaboration is an intrapersonal competency, and yet in real life cognitive and intrapersonal competencies are intertwined with interpersonal competencies, as illustrated below.

Source: College & Career Career Framework, http://www.cccframework.org/resources.html, 11/20/2019

Employers are well aware of these problems and that’s why teamwork skills and professionalism matters so much in job searches.

Assignment Guidelines

Write a brief memo (two to three pages) to your instructor that explains:

  1. Team Assessment: How well did each team member complete the tasks they agreed to complete per the Team Charter and Gantt chart?
    1. List your teammates in alphabetical order (first and last name)
    2. Provide one holistic grade for each peer’s overall contribution.
    3. Provide evidence for Grading: write one two or three sentences evaluating each peers’ contribution.
  2. Self Assessment: What actions did you take to further the success of the the team’s deliverables for the Consulting Simulation?
  3. Action Items: What did you learn about Collaboration as a result of the Consulting Simulation? How will you transform your experiences working on the Consulting Simulation to inform future team efforts.

Your memo must:

  1. Be reader-centered, edited for precision, and use effective professional style
  2. Use appropriate memo conventions. Please be sure to have a strong subject line (VERB + 3-7 word document summary)
  3. Include a Direct Business Writing opening paragraph that establishes the context for writing/why the reader is getting the document (i.e. you’re writing because you’ve completed work on a task you were given), the purpose of the memo (i.e. discuss your analysis of the audience and purpose of your document revision), and forecast the content of the memo.
  4. The body of the memo should be divided into two (3) sections and organized with headings and subheadings. Each section should be well-organized and include multiple paragraphs.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will

Suggested Readings

Your instructor values Substantive Prose. Teachers as well as employers privilege sincerity over hyperbole, specifics over vagueness.
Evidence matters to a community of scholars or professionals. Thus, reading is strongly recommended for the successful completion of this project. Avoid vague language, generalizations.

To address this memo in a substantive way, do some preliminary research on scholarly conversations related to Collaboration.

In order to develop a substantive memo, you can benefit from conducting a bit of preliminary research regarding teamwork in your chosen career. The readings below from Writing Commons may also provide you with helpful information.

Peer Evaluation Readings

Self Evaluation Readings

Mindset

  1. Conscientiousness
  2. Intellectual Openness
  3. Appreciation for Diversity
  4. Flexibility
  5. Initiative
  6. Intellectual Openness
  7. Metacognition
  8. Positive Core Self-Evaluation
  9. Self Leadership

3. Collaboration Insights

Model of Collaborative Problem Solving. Source: Oliveri, M., Lawless, R., & Molloy, H. (2017).A Literature Review on Collaborative Problem Solving for Workforce Readiness. GRE Board Research Report Series and ETS Research Report Series, 1-27. Doi:10.1002/ets12133

Submission Guidelines

  1. Upload the Evaluation Memo to the course management system.