Businesses can perform better with effective teams. It’s something that everyone knows instinctively, but cannot articulate. The GRPI model is popular and can be explained to both team members and managers. Let’s look into it in more detail.

What is The GRPI Team Effectiveness Model?

The GRPI is a comprehensive and straightforward framework that describes key factors teams must have to be effective. GRPI is a shorthand for:

  • Goals
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Processes and procedures
  • Interactions/Interpersonal Relationships

Richard Beckhard, an organizational theorist, first developed the GRPI in 1972. It is still a useful tool for planning teamwork and diagnosing problems within a group. Human Resources departments are able to train managers on how to use the GRPI model to resolve problems and help with group projects.

This method is not without its limitations. Its focus on roles and strict procedures doesn’t fit well into a startup where everyone wears many hats. Even so, this model is a great way to identify issues and guide your team in making effective decisions.

The Elements of the GRPI Model

We’ll break down the GRPI and show you how it can be used in teams for both planning and diagnostic purposes. The GRPI helps to develop teams and individuals, as well as close gaps. People can achieve high performance when they have a clear idea of what to do and how. It clears up confusion and overlap.

This is the way each step of this model works:


What are you aiming at? Is there a common goal for your team? Are you all working towards the same goal?

It should be a yes to all of these questions, but people often don’t understand or only see their part and do not know how it fits in the bigger picture. It’s easy to create a team goal (“We want revenue !”),”), but getting everyone on board and understanding how that goal fits in with the company goals is another matter.

Ask your team questions to help them understand the goal.

  • What is the team’s most important goal? This is important because there will also be smaller goals.
  • How will we determine when we’ve reached our goal? Remember that goals must be measurable and success must be defined. You may technically be successful if you achieve your goal of “increasing revenue”, but you won’t feel it. Setting SMART Goals can be helpful.
  • You should work to align all parties if the other person’s goal differs from yours.


It is important to assign roles from the beginning. However, if your team struggles, you can solve many problems by clarifying what each person does and asking them how they perceive their role.

It is especially important if there are new members in a team or if different people are competing for better roles. Clarity helps people know their limits.

Imagine arriving 30 minutes early to a seminar. Everyone else is there with coworkers, but you don’t know anyone. They appear to be deeply involved in intense discussions. The way you feel and approach them will differ depending on your role.

You might feel uncomfortable if you’re an intern because everyone else seems to look more mature than you. So you may choose a table where you can sit and stare at your phone.

You’ll enter the room confidently if you are the one leading the seminar. Perhaps you will start by introducing yourself. You’ll assume that everyone will be pleased to meet you. After all, they have come to hear and see you.

You will need to check that there are enough chairs and tables, that the coffee pots have been filled, and that all the speakers are equipped with everything they need for the seminar.

It’s the same person, it’s only your role that has changed. People can know what to do, and how to interact with others when roles are clearly defined.

Everyone should be kind. However, the opinion of the project leader will have more weight than that of the junior analyst. When roles are unclear, multiple people can be assigned to one role while another is overlooked. A clear definition of roles is one way to prevent team conflict and dysfunction.


How can we achieve this? You already know that Jane is the team leader, Stuart, Holly, and Grace are analysts and Katie is an administrative assistant. How will you increase your revenue in the end? What is your plan?

You may find that team members will make up the plan as they go if you don’t have a clear plan. If you don’t define the process, even well-intentioned individuals can get confused. Ask what the process is, and what you need to do next. If people don’t understand, then you have a problem with your GRPI.

A solid process and a clearly defined action plan are essential for a team to achieve its goals.

Interactions/Interpersonal relations

A bully, a narcissist, and a lazy person enter a meeting. What happens?

Success is not easy to achieve.

Do you respect the members of your team? Do you respect your coworkers? Do you respect them? Do you respect each other or do you hate each other?

It’s not essential to be friends with team members. However, a good team needs good working relationships. Even if the bully is at the lowest level, he or she can destroy a team. No matter how many measurable, reasonable goals you set, or how well-defined your roles and processes are, they won’t make the other departments jealous. You won’t be successful if your team can’t communicate and provide constructive feedback to each other.

It can be the hardest problem to solve. You can redesign processes and assign roles in an hour, but if you have a problem employee, you could ruin your plan.