Teams and Trials
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
When you've been handed a project, you might start brainstorming ways
to accomplish the project’s goal. You might start lists of what
resources–people, equipment, finances–will be required. You might want
to wade straight into the work itself.
These are all important
steps, but they probably don’t all come easily to you. That’s no
surprise; we’re all different. So team-work isn't just about
getting along. It requires a the completion of a series of phases, which
challenge different people to different degrees. If you don’t
know the aptitudes on your team, it can lead to some frustrating
For example, if your team has hard workers, but no one
likes to develop plans and assign the work, you might have two people
working on the same task while other jobs stay unfinished. If your team
has great creative ideas, but no one thinks to look for existing
resources, you might spend a lot of time creating solutions that have
already been found elsewhere.
SWON, we've been using Frederick Mumma’s Team-Work & Team-Roles
model, which lists 12 roles/phases. Then we took an assessment to help
us understand our aptitude in all 12 roles. We found that we each have
several areas of strength (good news, since there are only three of us
That knowledge is helping us plan out projects and also
work better together on ongoing tasks. Some roles are difficult for all
of us, but there are strategies for dealing with the gaps. Knowing them
helps us cover them better. It also helps us play to our individual
If you’re interested in learning more about the Team-Work
& Team-Roles model, you can read
a bit about it here. Or, even better, contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (513) 751–4422, since she’s used this in several settings and can
give a first-hand facilitator’s account. Invite her to spend some time
with your team, and help them do what they do well (and be more
- Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
Fall Luncheon: Last Day for Registration
We’re putting together the final details for SWON’s
fall luncheon, and we want you to be there! November 6th is the last day
for registration, so act now to join us for a series of brief talks
about maker spaces and time to chat.
Here’s the link: http://tiny.cc/makerluncheon.
See you November 13th!