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Gateway Engineering Education Coalition1 Team Agreements or How to get teams moving in the right direction…

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Presentation on theme: "Gateway Engineering Education Coalition1 Team Agreements or How to get teams moving in the right direction…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition1 Team Agreements or How to get teams moving in the right direction…

2 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 2 Does this sound familiar? During class, Team Dysfunctional is formed to work on “The Big Project”. The team brainstorms numerous good ideas, but no one takes any notes. At the end of class, everyone goes their separate ways. Although the team needs to show progress before the next class, they make no plans to meet and have no idea how to contact each other.

3 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 3 Two team members manage to meet, but they can only guess at what the rest of the team wants. Once everyone meets up in class, the rest of the team is unhappy with what the first two decided on their own. Eventually, the team requests more time from the instructor to work on their ideas. They set a meeting time for later that week. Somehow…

4 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 4 Two people are 20 minutes late. One person never even shows up. The meeting starts late, and before much gets done, one person leaves because of a prior commitment. The team members go their separate ways, and since the whole team wasn’t there, make no plans to meet again. At the meeting…

5 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 5 One of the team members assumes most of the workload in order to survive in the class. The project continues, and in time the team starts to work together. The workload is distributed and the team meets regularly. Unfortunately, the early missed meetings and work imbalance causes animosity among the team members that never completely goes away. Eventually…

6 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 6 The final project looks like the thrown-together mess it was and gets a poor grade. The team vows to never work with each other ever again. In the end…

7 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 7 How could this situation have been avoided???

8 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 8 Team Agreements

9 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 9 Team Agreements Teams that don’t set ground rules from the start almost always fight an uphill battle to coordinate work. Creating a Team Agreement when a project begins is an effective way of getting a team started. Having each team member author and sign the agreement increases individual “ownership” of the Team Agreement.

10 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 10 Team Agreements Responsibilities and expectations Communication Participation Decision making and problem solving Managing disagreements Conduct during and between meetings Consequences Address such issues as:

11 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 11 Facilitator – makes sure all members have an opportunity to participate Mediator – keeps the discussion directed Recorder – makes written records These roles may rotate. Team Agreements Address the issue of team member roles:

12 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 12 What typical position may be missing? Team Agreements

13 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 13 Team Agreements In the Team Agreement there may be NO one assigned team leader. Rather, leadership can be a naturally shifting position that changes with the needed knowledge base to complete the present problem. The team needs “leadership”, not a designated leader. This can alleviate many problems in the group dynamics as well.

14 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 14 In Practice When forming groups in class, have students create and sign a Team Agreement that covers: Communications – e.g. meeting times Participation – e.g. responsibilities of the individual members Decision Making and Problem Solving Responsibilities and Expectations – e.g. team goals Methods for Managing Disagreements Conduct during Meetings – e.g. who is facilitator, mediator, or recorder Conduct between meetings

15 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 15 Sample Team Agreements Team A We pledge to follow the Golden Rule We will work together to complete group work and labs When meetings are established, we will do our best to attend and come prepared and on time When working together, we will help to establish a positive work environment If problems arise, they will be discussed with any or all of the group members Each group member must have input at every meeting No member will have a permanent job as jobs will be flexible and go with each person’s strengths

16 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 16 Sample Team Agreements Team B – Part 1 Group Organization Two group meetings to be scheduled before the end of class every Monday Check e-mail regularly and stay in contact with group members Minimize absences and inform group members prior to absence

17 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 17 Sample Team Agreements Team B – Part 2 Meeting Format Focus on current task and work to accomplish it before moving on to other business Work efficiently during group meetings and minimize tangent conversations Major decisions always involve three or four group members present Keep group members informed as to all important issues and concerns - no surprises Any divisive issues are to be discussed thoroughly before any voting is done Document all group discussions and collective ideas

18 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 18 Sample Team Agreements Team B – Part 3 General Guidelines Address personal or work problems as they arise Always turn in journals and remind other team members to do so Divide work fairly and discuss any problems Arrive at class meetings on time and be prepared to work Be open to all new ideas Keep good documentation of your work and distribute it to others This team agreement is open to modification and will be reviewed regularly

19 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 19 Questions? Observations? Experiences to Share? ? ?

20 Gateway Engineering Education Coalition 20 References Project Management and Teamwork, Karl A. Smith, McGraw-Hill, Boston, 2000. Using Student Teams in the Classroom: A Faculty Guide, Ruth Federman Stein and Sandra Hurd, Anker Publishing Co., Bolton, MA, 2000, p. 51-54 Tools and Tactics for Design, Peter G. Dominick et al, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 2001.

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