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Developing team objectives and plans

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Good teamwork doesn’t just happen – it relies on leaders:

  • developing a clear set of team objectives and plans
  • communicating well
  • building a positive team culture.

This page guides you through your first step: developing a set of clear team objectives and plans.

To develop these, you’ll need to:

  • review your team’s purpose
  • consider what your team must achieve in the next 12 months
  • hold a team planning session or away day.

Reviewing your team’s purpose

Before you set team plans and objectives, it’s important to set a clear team purpose. This purpose will depend on the functions your team carries out, and the role your team plays in achieving your organisation’s mission.

Larger organisations usually have distinct teams carrying out different functions. For example, a senior management team will be responsible for developing the organisation’s strategy. A management team will plan the operations and set more detailed objectives.

In smaller organisations, the same group of people will carry out both of these functions. Instead, teams are more likely to be focused on particular projects or activities.

Setting your team’s objectives

Before you start planning your team’s work, you should start with some overarching team objectives.

CIPD (the professional body for experts in people at work) suggest considering the following questions when planning your team’s objectives:

  • What should we achieve as a team over the next 12 months?
  • What must we achieve over the next 12 months?
  • What are we really good at and how could we become even better?
  • What significant problems should we have solved over the next 12 months?

Holding a team planning session

A team planning session is a simple way to involve team members in refining objectives and planning your team’s work.

A team planning session can be online, in-person or hybrid, but CIPD recommend holding a face-to-face kick-off meeting for new teams.


For online or hybrid sessions you’ll need an online whiteboard tool (for example, Google Jamboard or Microsoft Whiteboard).

For face-to-face sessions you’ll need:

  • post-it notes in two different colours
  • flip chart paper.

You can then discuss:

  • How evenly distributed is workload?
  • Who needs to work with who?
  • What support do people need to carry out their tasks?
  • What resources are needed?
  • Are there any learning or training needs?


You should end up with a well-considered plan that the team’s contributed to. Everyone should be able to see how their own work contributes to the team’s goals.

Reviewing your plans

You should review your team’s performance against your plans regularly. If you need to, alter your priorities and practice after each review.

To do this:

  • At the end of each team meeting hold a five-minute feedback session.
  • Develop processes to help you review how far you’re achieving your team objectives and plans. Linking team plans to individuals’ one-to-ones and appraisals is an effective way of doing this.
  • Invite other teams, external agencies or service users to comment on the team’s performance.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 01 August 2023

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