Jane has been recently hired as the company’s first-ever process manager. She has been reviewing the company’s best practices of system development with the intent of establishing a formal systems development process for the company. She has two employees, Carrie and Brian, both who will work under her as system developers. Carrie and Brian bring years of experience at a large firm to the table.
Carrie is described as someone who is a big proponent of iterative/incremental development approaches, whereas Brian is a long time proponent of the waterfall approach. Both employees are very opinionated on the tools and techniques that are needed for system development projects and both are trying to lobby Jane to adopt their preferred techniques.
Jane has been put in a position that is difficult because, one she is now in charge of improving these tools and techniques that Carrie and Brian are lobbying to her and two if she chooses one approach over another, she might get some slack from the other employee and she does not want to cause an unsettled working environment.
Jane is now trying to figure out from a technical and human resource perspective what her options are to accommodate both employees, such as establishing a process management solution, and what tools and techniques she can use to foster team cohesion when one analyst does not get their way.
As the process manager I would discuss with both analysts that while they have different perspectives on what tools and techniques work best, each approach, whether waterfall, iterative or incremental would be taken into account dependent upon the nature of the project.
Jane needs to find a way she can foster teamwork when one member does not get their way. Haven’t we all heard the adage Two Heads are Better than one? Yet as funny as it sounds, it’s very true. (“Advantages of Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace”).
First Jane will need to discuss the common purposes and goals of the company. Every company has a mission and every team should have a goal to meet that mission. Ideas for creating a common goal are: create and/or review the team’s mission, discuss why they exist in the first place, allow each team member to express their commitment, create a theme (i.e., poster, symbol, motto) that portrays the team as a unit, and use the common purpose to prioritize the teams actions (“Building a Collaborative Team Environment”).
Jane needs to emphasize the advantages of teamwork in the workplace. Advantages such as increasing the likelihood of success, each team member brings there strengths to the table, increasing the success of the project, it will provide motivation and sense of security, as allowing each person a hand in the cookie jar, avoiding personal responsibility for a mistake. Teams motivate each other to work together in achieving their common goal, success. Another advantage is it helps divide the work that needs to be done, not one person can or should do all the work for the project, and it should be broken down into sub-tasks to the most qualified person. Working as a team also allows each member to learn from one another, we can never learn enough, and networking is the best way to further your knowledge and experience in any area (“Advantages of Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace”).
Jane will need to really work on keeping a positive attitude in the workplace so that both Carrie and Brian can see that working together with different perspectives isn’t always a negative. She needs to bring out the positive nature of both there qualities so they can work together harmoniously. While nothing is perfect when you work in teams, it will be important for Jane to stand her ground as the process manager and maintain balance in the workplace.
U.S. Department of Personnel Management. Building a Collaborative Team Environment. Retrieved from http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/teams/building-a-collaborative-team-environment/ Six Sigma Online, Aveta Business Institute. Advantages of Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.sixsigmaonline.org/six-sigma-training-certification-information/advantages-of-fostering-teamwork-in-the-workplace.html