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The FAST Team Test


The FAST Team Test 

From Laura Stack's book, FASTER TOGETHER: Accelerating Your Team's Productivity

The most productive teams hold four Keys to a FAST Team, which are the four parts to this book. F-A-S-T is an acronym for Fairness, Accountability, Systems, and Technology. Visit the book's website at to download additional resources and team materials.


In the book, FASTER TOGETHER, you'll read a detailed discussion of these Four Keys, which are defined as follows:
KEY 1—FAIRNESS: Proper under the rules; honest; just; straightforward.
KEY 2—ACCOUNTABILITY: Responsibility for someone or for some action; answerable; within one’s power, control, or management.
KEY 3—SYSTEMS: One element can impact the whole; interrelated linkages and interactions between components; a set of correlated people.
KEY 4— TECHNOLOGY: Specific methods, materials, and devices used to exchange information; creation and use of technical means; use of knowledge to solve problems.


Each of the four Keys has three corresponding Accelerators, which make your Team Car go faster. An accelerator on a car is a device (usually a pedal) that controls the speed of the engine; for your team, an Accelerator is a person or a thing that will cause something to happen or develop more quickly. The Accelerators represent the twelve chapters of the book: 


1. Building Relationships
2. Handling Conflict
3. Improving Cohesiveness

4. Trusting Your Team Members
5. Accepting Responsibility
6. Maximizing Performance  

7. Making Effective Decisions
8. Managing Time
9. Increasing Efficiency  

10. Communicating Properly
11. Meeting Effectively
12. Following Protocols


Each Accelerator, when properly implemented, will quicken your team to maximum productive speed for that Key—without being reckless.


When you’re trying to accelerate on a road, your biggest hindrances are stop signs, stop lights, and speed bumps. In my experience, speed bumps are the most annoying, because they don’t just slow you down, they jostle you uncomfortably as well—and you don’t get nearly as much warning that they’re coming up. If you hit one too hard, you’re in the shop for repairs. In fact, if you face more than a few, you’ll be slowed down so much that your progress—i.e., your productivity— will be significantly curtailed.


That’s why I’ve included the four worst “Speed Bumps” for each of the twelve Accelerators in this book, forty-eight total, to show you how you can overcome their limiting effects and annoyance. Your team’s productivity will be slowed to a halt if you don’t find ways to flatten them. Your team should overcome each Speed Bump to master the corresponding Accelerator and Key, so that, together, you can lead the pack within your business segment.


Start by having each team member independently take the FAST Team Test. Each person will individually rate the team, based on his or her experience, perception, and opinion. For each Accelerator, the test drills down to the four Speedbumps in order to determine whether or not your team has a problem with that particular item. That way, you know which of the 48 Speedbumps you need to bulldoze to maximize speed and productivity in your team.


When you finish the program, you can take the FAST Team Test again several weeks or months later to check your understanding and implementation of each Key. With each reiteration, you’ll gain a better understanding of where you need to be on the FAST TEAM scale, and what you need to work on next. Focus on blasting one huge speedbump at a time, and you’ll eventually reach a peak of quality and productivity—one you can easily maintain with a regular, judicious check of your Key mastery.


Even if your team isn’t working the program with you, you can read the book independently and work to influence your team leader and members. Frequently stop to ask yourself this question: “How can I make my team go FAST?” And don’t worry: for each of the Keys, Accelerators, and Speedbumps that follow, I will not only remind you of that question, I’ll give you real-life examples from my experiences and my clients’ experiences to illustrate how you and your team members can become FASTER TOGETHER.


The purpose of the FAST Team Test is to ascertain, in your opinion, how well your team has mastered the Four Keys of FAST Teams and implemented the 12 Accelerators. Each question focuses on one Speedbump, which is repeated in the scoring section. The FAST Team Test can either confirm your suspicions, amplify key areas of focus, or change your mind altogether!


If you request your test results be emailed to you, you’ll receive a PDF with your score. Team members can bring their individual reports to the kick-off meeting to compare results. We also offer a customized team assessment with collective scoring; just email me at to inquire.