Return to site

Structuring Your Team for Excellence: Apollo 13 Case Study

The team is structured formally and informally

· team,to-sort

Team structure is composed of two sub levels:

>Formal team structures:

  • Departmentation
  • Centralization
  • Rewards
  • Virtuality (location:distributed team or all co-located team)

>Informal team structures:

  • Roles
  • Norms

Case study: The Apollo 13 mission management team: a lesson in formal and informal team structure
Great example of a team facing a crisis: broken spaceship with three astronauts inside to drive back safely to earth.
They had to land on moon.
But one oxygen tank exploded.
They have to adapt and drop their mission to get back to earth.

So from the formally defined roles emerge informally roles over time.
The mission critical roles had to be defined and the formal decision making authority to be delegated.
In the end, it is the definition of what's critical that drove to the team success.