CSE Senior Design I
Building a High
Performance Team
Instructor: Mike O’Dell
1
What SD Students Say (about
team/projects)
 Nobody wants to work with someone who will not
pull their load.
 Most want to work with someone who thinks and
works like they do.
 Everyone wants to work on a "meaningful", or
"real world" product.
 Most want their project to be a success.
 Most would like to work on a project that is
directly relevant to their future/current job.
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1
What SD Student Say (about
team/projects)
 Everyone wants all of their teammates to be
honest, trustworthy, and hard-working.
 Only a few of you want to be a team leader.
 Many of you don't understand why you need to
work on a team - i.e., with other people.
 Not everyone is a “technical expert”.
 Many of you are nervous about your
presentation/oral communication skills.
 Each of you has a unique set of skills that can
contribute to your teams/projects success.
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1
Characteristics of High-Performance
Teams
 Discussion: Amish Barn Raising (pp. 273-274)
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Team structure
Team dynamics
Other team characteristics
Why did it work?
 Discussion: Case Study 12.1 (pp. 274-275)
 Team structure, dynamics & characteristics
 Why didn’t it work?
 Discussion: Case Study 12.2 (pp. 277-278)
 Team structure, dynamics & characteristics
 Why did it work?
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1 Team Productivity
Studies have shown that productivity of
teams can vary significantly1
 As much as 5 to 1, in studies where
backgrounds and experience varied between
teams
 Typically 2.5 to 1 between teams with similar
backgrounds and experience
1
Boehm, 1981; DeMarco & Lister, 1985; Weinberg & Schulman, 1974; Boehm, et. al., 1984;
Valett & McGarry, 1989
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a shared, elevating vision or goal
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Buy-in… every single member of the team
Streamlines decision making on smaller issues
Provides focus and avoids wasted time
Builds trust… and cooperation
Small issues stay small… focus is on BIG GOAL
The vision MUST be important to the
organization, and create challenging work
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a sense of shared identity
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A sense that you belong together
A way to distinguish your team from others
Shared sense of humor
Satisfaction in teammates’ accomplishments
“WE,” instead of “I” in your team language
Competitive FIRE!
Thoughts/ideas on how you go about
building this shared identity for YOUR
team?
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a results-driven structure
 Organized with max. development speed and
efficiency in mind
 Clear, and clearly understood, roles for
everyone
 Accountability for each individual
 Effective communication system & rules (updown, down-up, across)
 Performance monitoring/measurement
 Decisions are based on FACT, not opinions or
mandate
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have competent team members
 Teams are a blend of individuals, each with
different key competencies and skills
 Key Competencies
Strong technical skills in relevant areas
Strong desire to contribute
Strong collaborative skills
 Mix of roles… every team must have:
Organization and Leadership
Communication capabilities
Specific technical capabilities
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But… Flexible,
not Rigid
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a common commitment to team
 Involves personal sacrifices for the team
(that you may not make for the larger
organization)
 Calls for a commitment of your personal time
and energy… everyone!
 Each member must know and buy-in to exactly
what you and your team are committing to…
VISION… CHALLENGE… TEAM IDENTITY
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They trust each other
 Four components of trust:
Honesty
Openness
Consistency
Respect
 Breach just one… trust is gone!
 Trust is learned, not mandated
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have interdependence among
members
 Understand and rely on each other strengths
 Everybody gets to contribute… in the way(s)
that they are best qualified to do so
 Everybody gets to participate in critical
decisions that affect the team
 Everybody looks for ways to make other
members successful
 Result: everyone gravitates to the role in
which they are most productive!
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They communicate effectively
 Establish preferred ways to communicate
 Stay in touch with each other
 Establish their own “team language” based on
mutual understanding (Recall Case Study 12.2)
 Express true feelings, without any fear of
retribution or embarrassment
Even (or, maybe, especially) the “bad news”
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a sense of autonomy
 Feel like you can do whatever you need to do
to make the project/product successful
 Based on trust within the organization (a.k.a.
management)
No micro-managing
No second-guessing
No overriding tough decisions
Full support in those “impossible” situations
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They have a sense of empowerment
 The organization gives you the power to do
what is right for your team
 You can make decisions, within the context of
your project, and not have them over-turned
 You can make a few mistakes, and not have
them held against you
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They are “right-sized”
Small enough to communicate effectively
Small enough to work efficiently
Small enough to bond as a team
Large enough to form a group identity
Large enough to get the job done
Large enough to include the right key
competencies and skills
 Larger projects can usually be broken into
smaller, more efficient, teams
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1
What Makes a High-Performance
Team?
They enjoy what they are doing
 Not every enjoyable team is a highperformance team… but
 Every high-performance team is enjoyable!
 Shared sense of humor, secret hand-shakes,
team vocabulary, secret jokes… done in good
taste, these things can be FUN.
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CSE Senior Design I
Building Your Teams
1 Assignments
Submit a short paper that identifies
your proposed team (due Wednesday).
Key points:
Each team must have 4 or 5 members
No close friends/significant others on same
team
CpE, CS and SwE students will be equitably
distributed among the teams (per diagram in
“Day 1” slides)
Must have a strong leader on each team
Consider times of availability, travel, project
choices, etc.
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1 Assignments
Due at beginning of Lab next week:
 Individual Assessment Forms
 Make a copy for your and your teams use and reference later
During the next Lab, each new group will:
 Prepare and turn in a Team Assessment form
Recommend preparing duplicate for team to keep
 Select top 3 projects in order of preference
 Verify/identify your team leader
 Begin the process…..
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1 Self-Assessment Form
Complete using the form on the website
 Clearly mark your answers on the form
 Keep a copy of the form, turn in the original on
the due date
 After completing your form, get together with
potential partners and evaluate the possibility
of forming a competent, high performance
team
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1 Ratings on the Form
 Rate yourself from 1 to 5
1 – definitely not a skill that you possess
2 – classroom/limited knowledge only
3 – ok: can do it, but not really well yet
4 – one or more successful team projects where you
used this capability
 5 – professional. This is what you do for a living
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1 Team Assessment/Needs
 In our next lab period, you will begin to evaluate
your proposed team using the team assessment
vehicle.
 Total score in each skill for all team members is
the team score
 You may need to assess other skills than those
listed on the form for your team’s project
 If your team score is low in some areas, you will
need to be sure your planning includes additional
education
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1 First Lab After Teams and
Projects Set
First Team Status Report
Team name!!
Preliminary roles and responsibilities of individuals
Team weaknesses identified and plan to resolve
Early assessment of risks associated with your
project
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1 An Effective Team
 Is not an individual, or two
 No “geniuses”
 No “heroes”
 Everyone contributes equally
 Need not be experts on anything
 Must have a leader
 Must have a balance of key competencies
 Must have a balance of relevant skills
 Must have identity/cohesiveness
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1 Individual Capabilities
Organizational
Communication
Technical
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1 Organizational Capabilities (e.g.)
Planning
Personnel management
Scheduling
Tracking
Reporting
Ability to stay on track
Ability to keep others on track
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1 Communication Capabilities (e.g.)
Written reports/presentations
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Clear and correct English
Proper format
Timely
Good with presentation/visual aids
Verbal
 Oral reviews/team meetings
 “Sales” presentations
 Training
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1 Communication Capabilities (e.g.)
Critical Analysis
 Reviewing materials, plans
 Reviewing/evaluating customer and sponsor
input
 Clearly conceptualizing difficult ideas/issues
 Understanding and integrating other
approaches/opinions
 Considering alternative design approaches
 Objective, open-minded, clear-thinker
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1 Technical Capabilities (e.g.)
 Requirements analysis
 Architectural design
 Detail design
 Test design
 Coding to meet
specifications
 Test supervision and
execution
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 Product packaging
 Hardware interface
 Source control
 Change control
 Knowledge of specific
languages
 Knowledge of specific
technologies
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1 Team Capabilities…
are the union of individual capabilities
BUT, a team must have (develop) a
sufficient level of ALL required
capabilities.
NB……
A high-performance team maximizes its
capabilities AS A TEAM.
A high-performance team matches
individual skills with the job(s) to be done.
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1 Projects and Teams
Case Study 13-1: Mismatch
 Characteristics of the team?
 Why it failed?
Case Study 13-2: Good Match
 Characteristics of the team?
 Why it succeeded?
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Building a Team