Project Management

GRPI model

last edited by: Thiago Iglesias on Mar 27, 2015 3:24 PM login/register to edit this page

1 Definitions
2 References

The GRPI model was first introduced by Richard Beckhard (1972) and highlights the different aspects of team cooperation by identify goals, clarifying roles, responsibilities and processes and the interpersonal relationships of team members.

It eases the process of establishing and prioritizing the core mission of a team and framing it into a clear action plan. By setting priorities and identifying a potential cascade of problems, it enables solutions to be found at the right level. GRPI is an acronym describing the different dimensions characterizing a team, arranged in cascading priorities towards performance:

  1. Goals
  2. Roles
  3. Processes
  4. Interactions



Goals provide the foundation of good teamwork by establishing the core mission of a team and framing its purpose. They give direction to a team, allowing them to understand where they are now, to define where they want to go and to unite each individual effort in getting there. They create identity and generate sense: a common goal is what makes a team a team. Without a clear, shared and agreed goal, any kind of team development will have a limited impact.

Team members have to understand, accept, share and commit to common objectives. Commitment can be engendered by aligning team goals and individual goals. Doran has come up with an effective method by which valid objectives can be identified and set: SMART goals. These goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (cp. Doran, 1981; Drucker, 1998).


A role can be described by its authority, responsibilities and tasks and it should be aligned to support the defined goals. A functional role is defined by tasks that need to be done and requires certain types of skill, knowledge, experience etc. (cp. Biddle, 1986).

To enable the team to function, each team member should have a clear picture of who is doing what, who is responsible for what, and should know the extent of their authority. They should understand, agree and be satisfied with their roles and responsibilities, being accountable individually and collectively. In this sense, it is crucial that team members cooperate with each other and accomplish goals as effectively as possible. This is the foundation of a clear process in addressing, clarifying and resolving issues.


Processes in organizations are a governance tool to overcome inefficiencies in the areas of decision-making, control, coordination and communication (Wong, 2009). They try to ensure a repeatability of a certain level of output quality, while allowing enough operating flexibility so as not to constrain the process-users' work (ibid).

In GRPI team development the same applies: after agreeing on team goals, the team needs to identify tasks and activities to achieve these goals. Defining processes during the forming phase can effectively support the team’s goals by determining the interactions within a team.

Setting intelligent standardized processes for actions, decision-making, conflict management, problem solving, communication procedures, resource allocations etc. will effectively support the team’s goals by determining the interactions within a team. While the amount and types of processes depend on team and task size and composition, certain processes for team development are recommended.


The Interpersonal section of the GRPI model outlines relationships and individual styles and is about establishing trust, open communication and feedback in order to support a sound working environment. Like goals and roles, a specific format and rules have to be established, understood, shared and agreed upon.

Improving interpersonal relationships can be done in many ways and may consist of anything from smiling at someone to listening carefully, asking advice, passing on compliments etc. The level of trust, however, can be enhanced with the “Emotional Bank Account” (Covey, 2004), a metaphor for defining and building the amount of trust with deposits and withdrawals in a relationship


  1. The GRPI model – an approach for team development. Steve Raue, Suk-Han Tang, Christian Weiland and Claas Wenzlik. 18/02/2013 | Version 2. Systemic Excellence Group.

last edited by: Thiago Iglesias on Mar 27, 2015 3:24 PM login/register to edit this page


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