Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Team

The team is not an amorphous mass. It is made up of people, each of them unique in his own way with his own values, beliefs and experiences. It is made up of Serban, Mihai, Dragos, Marius, Cristi and so on. A team leader should preserve and cherish individuality. He should not think of his team to as a pool of resources that is there to complete given tasks but rather how to help each member express his ideas and allow each and everyone to participate in the project creatively. He should find ways to involve people and and let them do their jobs as they see fit. Rather than imposing his point of view, he should strive to generate consistency from all points of view and maintain the project heading forward. This is especially true for game development, an industry that focuses on fun and, since fun is a subjective matter in most cases, more opinions are always welcome. Treating each person as an individuality has, potentially, the following benefits:
  • People are more motivated if they feel its their project they build and not a series of unrelated taks
  • The outcome is better since it is the mediated value of many opinions
  • People work better if they feel that they mean something in the team and see the importance of their job
  • People understand better what is required because they are directly involved
  • A sense of friendship occurs from many people working together towards a common goal
  • Knowledge is spread within the team
  • Know-how is put to better use since everyone finds his place within the team and the project
  • People end up liking what they do and develop a sense of confidence, leadership and attachment to the project
  • Generates better visibility of the team members outside the team, to upper management
A common pitfall is getting lost in details and endless meetings but this can be properly managed and its the duty of the team leader to make sure the project is not stalling. A lead or manager should never forget that is the team who builds the project and not himself.

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