Watch a tutorial of how to use the Random Team Generator template.
If you want to randomly assign people to teams, you should use a random team generator. What are the benefits of using a random team generator? You don’t have to worry about keeping teams “balanced,” you don’t have to draw straws, and most importantly, you remove any bias from the teams created.
What are some of the most common scenarios where a random team or group generator is needed? If you are teaching a class and frequently need to put students into groups for group projects, what do you do? The most common way might be to have everyone in the room “count off” where each student has to say a number up to the number of teams you want (e.g. four groups means each student says “1,” “2,” etc.) What are the downsides of this approach?
Another example might be at a professional workshop. Let’s say your team is doing a team-building exercises and the group of 20 needs to be assigned to groups of 4. You could also do the above method where each team member counts off a number, or you might encourage people to “pick people you haven’t worked with before.” In spirit, this is great for building team chemistry and cross-team collaboration, team members may still pick others they are familiar with or pick those who they perceive to be “strong.”
Aside from the “counting off” method, the main benefit for picking groups at random is that it removes bias. If you want to force your team members to work with others they are not acquainted or familiar with, the best way is to pick the group at random so that all biases are removed from the group assignment. If you are the workshop facilitator or teacher, you may feel tempted to pick “balanced” teams, but then your own biases may become a factor in the group selection.
Managing groups of students in a classroom and a team building workshop are just two scenarios in which a random team generator can help remove bias. Removing bias is also important for other areas of work and in the medical field as well. One of the most common ways to conduct medical research is with randomized trials to removed selection bias from the results.
The main benefit for picking groups at random is that it removes bias.
Most random team generator solutions are built in Excel or exist as a simple online application. What if you wanted a tool. For instance, this random group generator tool in Excel by Trump Excel uses a combination of clever formulas, buttons, and macros in VBA to assign people in a list randomly to teams. If you are the “team maker” at the office or for a meeting, chances are you may want more functionality in the team generator solution. You may ask the following questions:
If you’re trying to run a team building event where some team members are working remotely, you may have to share with them a Google Doc for them to feel involved. If you are generating random teams for a group exercise, you need a solution that is real-time and collaborative so that the remote and distributed team members are engaged with the exercise.
This template is not only a team randomizer, but also helps you keep track of who should be considered for a team in the first place. If you have an employee roster of 30 people, but 5 are out of the office, you only want the 25 to be randomly assigned to teams. However, you still want to keep the other 5 employees in the group and have a quick way of marking if they are present or not so that they can be included in the team randomizing process.
This template also allows you to add and subtract teams quickly with a click of a button. Once you have decided on the number of teams, the “Randomize Teams” button will allow you to quickly assign all the “active” team members evenly to the new number of teams you have chosen.
Since this template can be accessed by multiple people in a real-time collaborative way, remote team members can see the team they have been randomly assigned to by just opening the doc in their browser. As your team grows in size, this doc will grow along with it so that it is the single source of truth for future random teams you pick!