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The Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) is a well-validated instrument designed to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of teams. Drs. Ruth Wageman, Richard Hackman, and Erin Lehman at Harvard developed this assessment based on their research about the major conditions that foster team effectiveness. The TDS produces a thorough report showing scores on the 6 Team Conditions, 3 Key Task Processes that emerge from those conditions, and 3 outcome measures of Team Effectiveness.


The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness framework comes from decades of research and is the best validated model for predicting performance in real world teams. The framework identifies the 6 Conditions that can be deliberately designed into a team and that together create an environment where great teamwork will emerge. In our research, the 6 Conditions account for up to 80% of a team’s effectiveness.

The 3 Essentials

The Essentials are the fundamental building blocks of great teams.

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A team with the right people has the range of perspectives needed to do the work, and the skills--including teamwork skills--to bring those perspectives to the work.

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Teams need a purpose that engages their commitment and orients them in a shared direction.

The 3 Enablers

The Enablers accelerate a team’s development into a brilliant collaboration.

Every team benefits from a few elements of healthy structure: keeping the team small enough, tackling tasks together that make sense to be done as a team, and identifying a handful of explicit norms about what they should and should not do when they work together.

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Well-designed teams benefit from an expert coach who can help the team make excellent use of its resources.


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Every team operates in a larger context, and the structures and systems in that context (such as rewards and information) can either promote great teamwork, or create obstacles to excellent collaboration.


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Key Facts

  • Psychometrically sound, peer-reviewed, and validated using data collected on over 1,000 teams globally (explore the research)

  • Produces a 27-page report including detailed feedback on the 6 Conditions, 3 Key Task Processes and 3 Team Effectiveness Outcomes, as well as qualitative and quantitative feedback 

  • Distributed through a global network of certified TDS practitioners

  • Used by top teams in Fortune 500 companies, public sector teams and non-profit organizations

  • Used by leadership teams, startup teams, agile teams, flight crews, surgical teams, project teams, sales teams, operations teams, finance teams, professional services teams and more

  • Available in English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, German, Arabic and Persian (coming soon: Italian, Swedish)

The Research

  • The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness Framework comes from decades of research by leading teams scholars at Harvard University. Richard Hackman, Ruth Wageman, and their students and colleagues have studied thousands of teams around the world, in a wide range of industries, sectors, and cultural contexts. Their work identified 6 Conditions that are all actionable, designable elements of teams and together they foster great teamwork and significant accomplishment over time. The research about these 6 fundamental conditions has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and books. (See Publications)


  • Wageman et al.’s (2008) study of 127 senior leadership teams from around the world showed that less than 25% were outstanding teams (“Senior Leadership Teams: What it Takes to Make them Great”). Those that were outstanding scored radically better on the 6 Conditions, and together the 6 Conditions predicted 60% of the variation in team effectiveness.

  • Hackman’s (2011) study of teams in the US intelligence community showed that Real Teams that were well designed and whose work was interdependent developed a self-managing approach to peer coaching; the 6 Conditions accounted for 74% of the variance in intelligence team effectiveness.

  • Wageman’s (2001) study of customer service teams showed that the last of the 6 Conditions (Team Coaching) only made a difference to team effectiveness when the team’s were well designed on the other 5 Conditions. In other words, only Real Teams that already had a Compelling Purpose, Right People, Sound Structure and a Supportive Context could take advantage of excellent Team Coaching around their work processes; when they were well-designed, Team Coaching made a significant positive difference in their performance and self-management over time.

  • The 6 Conditions framework has informed a wide range of team studies: Change leadership teams (Higgins et al., 2011), healthcare teams (Edmondson, 1999); engineering and design teams (Kim & McNair, 2010); knowledge work teams (Haas, 2010) and many more.

Pulse Check Survey

  • Fully validated against performance metrics

  • Designed to produce quick repeated measures of the 6 Conditions, 3 Key Task processes and 3 Criteria of Effectiveness

  • 22 items, less than 3 minutes – easily completed on a phone or tablet

  • Useable with any team for which you have run a Full Report

  • Produces a basic TDS report that mirrors the main graphs in the full TDS report

  • Repeated measures report in progress, shows changes in the team over time

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