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8 Team Building Tips for Leaders That Actually Work

8 Team Building Tips for Leaders That Actually Work
By Richard Lepsinger

Great teams are the building blocks of any organization. A great team has shared goals, clear roles, transparent processes for solving problems and making decisions, and the ability to deal with conflicts constructively. A good team may have some of these elements; a great team will have them all. It is up to you as a leader to make sure all of these elements are in place.

Like all coaches, a successful team leader needs a playbook to guide them. If you are leading a new team or want to enhance the performance of an existing one, follow these eight tips.

  1. Emphasize Common Interests and Values: Getting group members to agree on objectives, strategies, and the need for cooperative effort greatly facilitates a strong identification with the group. Great leaders emphasize mutual interests rather than allowing members to dwell on their differences.
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How To Poach Talent (in a Nice Way)

How To Poach Talent (in a Nice Way)
By Jim Anderson

As an IT manager, one of your required IT manager skills is to build the best team possible. Often times you’ll discover the perfect person to add to your team. However, that person already has a job. Perhaps they already have a really good job. If you are going to want to have any hope of convincing them to leave where they are at and come join your team, then you’re going to have to master the art of poaching.

Why Is Poaching Even Necessary?

The world of IT is a bit strange. In order to accomplish all of the things that we need to do, a lot of very specialized skills are required. What makes things even more challenging is that the skills that are needed keep changing. Today the skills that we need on our team include knowledge of virtualization, security, big data, etc. Read the Complete Article

Secrets to Building Great IT Teams

Secrets to Building Great IT Teams
By Jim Anderson

As an IT manager, you can only be as good as your team allows you to be. This means that you are going to have use your IT manager skills and invest your time in making your team as good as you possibly can. Even if you can commit to doing this, the next question is just exactly what should you be doing to make this happen?

Building a Better Team

Your team is not going to be in a position to support you if you don’t have the right team in place. This all has to do with team dynamics – how well do the members of your team work together? What you are looking for is a team that can be very cohesive. However, this is not just going to magically happen.

Instead, it’s all about who you hire to join your team. Read the Complete Article

10 Practical Tips for Building a Team

10 Practical Tips for Building a Team
By Kevin Dee

There is a fairly well established school of thought that a strong team will outperform a group of individuals fairly consistently. It is demonstrated in sports and in the workplace when people are willing to work to help each other and not just act selfishly.

How do managers, leaders and executives build a team environment? What kinds or actions can they take?

If you are the leader and hire the people to form a team then you have a head start, because they arrive into a situation where you are already the leader.

If you are a peer of the team who gets promoted then you have some work to do… and this is probably the toughest kind of situation.

If you are hired into a managerial position from an external source then you too, have some work to do and you can create a conscious plan to achieve this end. Read the Complete Article

Optimal Project Team Size

Optimal Project Team Size
By Vesa H Autio

This article is about planning the size and composition of business development project teams. It is a boring one. Don’t read any further as it does not have a clear advice but just some batting.

The simple approach to build a development project team is to nominate a project manager and an adequate amount of resources to do the planned development tasks. If it is this simple why do development projects run over costs and timetable. Not having an optimal project team may be one reason. Some considerations about this issue are presented here.

An imaginary business development project has been calculated to require 1600 man days of development work. One full time developer is estimated to be able to work 20 days per month. If the project should be done in 10 months, then eight full time developers would be required to do the job. Read the Complete Article

4 Big Benefits of Coaching Your Teams

4 Big Benefits of Coaching Your Teams
By Art Petty

“I have no question that when you have a team, the possibility exists that it will generate magic, producing something extraordinary… But don’t count on it.” -J. Richard Hackman

The operative phrase in the late Dr. Hackman’s quote is, “But don’t count on it.”

Too often and with the best of intentions, we assemble a team of our best and brightest to tackle an important issue and then assuming our job is done and the task is in the hands of these capable people, we step away and wait for the results. And all too often, instead of something magical from our teams, what we get back looks and feels a lot like flailing heading towards failing.

Effective leaders understand the importance of coaching to team success, and they either remain involved in this capacity or, better yet, they ensure that a responsible and objective third party is placed in this role. Read the Complete Article

Work Smarter: 5 Steps to Proactive Resource Management

Work Smarter: 5 Steps to Proactive Resource Management
By Kevin Kern

With dozens of IT projects in play at any given time, it can be a challenge to know who’s working on what, when they’ll be finished and what resources are available—not to mention which staffers can dedicate time to new projects and innovation.

If this sounds like your organization, you’re not alone—according to a recent Gartner survey, only slightly more than one-third of organizations have general workplace visibility policies in place. Furthermore, resource allocation is one of the biggest problems with project management teams. Without having the visibility into your resources, allocation will always be challenging, if not impossible.

The old adage “work smarter, not harder” certainly applies to IT resource management. Follow these five tips to gain more clarity into how your resources are currently being used and learn how to more proactively allocate them—while maximizing collaboration, agility and responsiveness at the same time. Read the Complete Article

5 Creative Ideas for Team Building

5 Creative Ideas for Team Building
By Michelle Symonds

Forming good connections with your project team and getting to know them as individuals is all part and parcel of good project management. By understanding the people you are working with and helping them to bond with each other, you can build a stronger, more effective project team.

Many project managers will have some call to include team building in their schedules from time to time. Some lucky ones might even have budget allocated to these types of activities. Whether you’ve got pennies to spend or nothing at all, effective teambuilding can be achieved in simple, fun ways. Here are some ideas to help.

  1. Training activities: Training might not seem like a teambuilding exercise, but it really can be. The shared experience of being on training for the day can help people get to know each other better and build connections that are hard to foster in the office environment.
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The Project Scavenger Hunt

The Project Scavenger Hunt
By Joe DeMeyer

Near the middle of my last project, I met with my project manager and iteration manager to discuss the addition of new team members. We were adding both developers and testers and, as you might expect, it was important they learn about the project, the application, and meet everyone in a short amount of time.

We reviewed the documentation we had for training and thought about a training schedule. Then, I recalled something I did on another team. I suggested a project scavenger hunt might reduce the training time and help new team members engage the project and team members faster.

The Project Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a popular party game where participants are separated into teams and given a list of items to find or “scavenge”. The items might be a paper sack, a paper clip, an empty soda can, and the like. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – 12 Reasons Your Team Is Not Productive and How to Fix It!

Project Management – 12 Reasons Your Team Is Not Productive and How to Fix It!
By David R Robins

According research done by Forrester, up to 68% of all projects finish late or fail totally. The problem is getting worse. Due to globalization many teams are not located in one location and the team’s performance suffers due to the lack of collaboration & communication. Today, there are three type of teams working on projects in small to large companies.

  1. Traditional teams– All team members are in the same physical location. This model is happening less often these days.
  2. Distributed team– All team members work remotely and rarely meet each other. This is seen more in web design, graphic art and software engineering disciplines than other fields

  3. Mixed teams– A combination of the above two. Like teams which meet 1 day of the week in one location and the rest of the week work remotely, or use new technology to create a virtual office for the team.

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