tl;dr: Google research found that psychological safety is the most important dynamic for an effective team. This was alongside other dynamics like dependability, role clarity, meaningful work and impact.
The following is a write-up on effective teams based on Google's Project Aristotle. It refers to insights we originally published on Re:Work which I cover in Leading Effective Engineering Teams.
At the heart of Google's productivity are teams. Teams are where ideas take shape, work unfolds, and team members engage with their tasks. Yet, they're also a breeding ground for interpersonal challenges and ambiguous objectives, all of which can disrupt your team's workflow.
In the wake of Google's Project Oxygen research insights on managerial excellence, Google embarked on another large research effort - Project Aristotle - to understand the makeup of an effective team. Named after Aristotle's adage that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," this initiative aimed to harness the collective prowess of Google's workforce.
To understand what elevates a team at Google, we must first define what a "team" is. This is about understanding the roles, relationships, and responsibilities that characterize a team's effectiveness.