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Team building August 3, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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Creating the System Vision

  • Creation of an overall “vision”, within the minds of the project team members and the business clients, of both the proposed system, as well as the necessary steps to insure its completion

Determining Task Assignments

  • Consideration must also be given to the experience level, the technical ability, the management skill, and the availability of each team member.
  • Each team member must feel a sense of challenge, and believe that his or her work is relevant and important.
  • An even higher consideration is the willingness, as well as the ability, of each individual to accept and carry out the assigned responsibility

Making Decisions

  • With decision making ability comes both control (which most leaders like) and accountability (which most leaders fear).In some cases, a decision is strikingly apparent to everyone, and the team leader serves only to confirm the choice. In other cases, the decision is between two or more choices with equal merit. Most decisions are somewhere in between.
  • Decision making rules:
  • Delegate decision making authority wherever appropriate
  • When all relevant facts, opinions, and viewpoints have been collected and assessed
  • If time is truly available to improve the quality of a decision – take it

Monitoring Progress

  • Quick team meetings with written actions communicated
  • First, clearly identifiable units of work must be assigned to each team member. These may range anywhere from a broad mandate to a detailed programming task.
  • Second, a milestone date for each defined deliverable should be agreed upon. These both should present reasonable yet challenging objectives.
  • Third, a formal accounting of these objectives and goals must periodically be required.

Opening Communication Channels

  • Two extremes are
  • One is the “keep your fingers crossed” approach: . This is where a team leader hopes that the clients, analysts, and programmers are all busily communicating away with each other about every aspect of the system without him or her having to do anything
  • The other is the “my way or the highway” approach. In this situation, the team leader controls all of the communication opportunities and only lets others into the loop on a “need to know” basis
  • The team leader must achieve proper and balanced communication between everyone involved
  • As a manager, the team leader must discipline himself or herself to react to both good news and bad news with moderation and maturity

Deflecting Unnecessary Distractions:

  • Interruptions can be handled through subtle deadline reminders, other times it may take creative thinking to find alternate means of handling the unplanned requests

Enforcing Quality Standards:

  • Not programming police
  • Quality should be inspired rather than dictated
  • process should be one of both confirmation of quality as well as identification of improvement opportunities

Watching Scope Boundaries

  • No matter how hard a team leader tries to keep the delivered functionality in scope, someone always seems to come up with a clever new feature, or an undiscovered requirement, or a “twist” on the original vision which will require more time
  • Sometimes these may seem to be just a little time here or a little time there, but it all eventually adds up to a significant amount of time, and a missed deadline
  • An alert project manager and look into change management.

Supporting a Career Development Atmosphere:

  • The inexperienced programmers gain by learning efficient and sensible approaches to creating high quality software from the more senior team members
  • The more experienced analysts and programmers gain by being given greater levels of responsibility and challenge.This provides an opportunity for them to stretch and grow to the point where they are ready to be entrusted with increasingly significant leadership roles

Managing Issues and Problems

  • Issue list reviewed, prioritized, and organized
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