Week 3 — Team storming

2021-06-12

Welcome to week 3 where we pay attention to the team storming phase. Conflict might arise (Tuckman 1965), so we’re made more aware of this.

A new SMART goal

A smart goal came out of writing my team’s “rapid ideation plan”, which is to be more focused on delivery. This entails meeting milestones, and ensuring we’re not distracted (e.g. by scope creep).

Five Dysfunctions of Teams

This week we discuss the Five Dysfunctions of Teams (Lencioni 2002), which are:

  • absence of trust
  • fear of conflict
  • lack of commitment
  • avoidance of accountability
  • inattention to results

I might feel a tiny bit of absence of trust, since I’m chiseling away at the prototype, but don’t see any other activity. E.g. I’d like to see all of this as it becomes available: results of research , concept art, tech demos in Unity, etc. Understandably, we’re still early-ish in the process, so this will come.

I don’t think I have a fear of conflict. For me, what matters is the team’s mission, and how we accomplish it. I like to get to the point on matters regarding the project, and want all discussions to be ego-free.

I am very committed to the team and the project, and I hope I’m showing it by providing continuous updates in the MS Teams channels. I’m sure the others are very committed too.

There seems to be no avoidance of accountability in this team, and I’m not sure if anyone is inattentive of results, but time will tell.

Team charter

I started a team charter. Again, I’m jumping ahead a bit, as apparently we’ll cover this in week 5. In the weekly team catchup, we refined our roles some more, and this will be written down in the charter in due course. I pressed some team members to be absolutely clear what they’d like to do in the team, and which things they’d rather avoid. E.g. Oli raised his hand when we brought up writing, but when pressed further, he said he’d like to come up with the story ideas, but doesn’t necessarily want to do any writing. I’ve volunteered to be responsible for the writing, although I’d defer to Josh and others when/if I fall behind, or if I need some creative writing input.

6 thinking hats

We learn about Dr. Edward de Bono’s 6 thinking hats (de Bono n.d.), and are challenged to use the tool as it’s common strategy for overcoming adversity and encourages the team to see things from different points of view and empathise with the opposition.

I’ve noticed that my team use the hats throughout our conversations, instead of being aware of the tool and using it in a discussion explicitly (so, all but the blue hat, which draws attention to “6 thinking hats” as a tool).

For instance, the black hat comes up a lot: we reign in scope creep, as the risk is that the project runs late. This instance of the black hat is usually preceded by the green and yellow hats, where we optimistically explore the possibility space.

My organisational tendencies

Again, I take minutes during chats, but I’ve realised I ought to use the last 5 minutes to summarise the meeting (and write down in a doc while screen-sharing, so team can raise concerns, and correct me if I write down the wrong thing). I’ll employ this after the next meeting, and hopefully turn it into a habit.

Week development log

2021-06-18

  • create Team Charter doc in teams, with most information pre-filled

2021-06-15

  • Reign in scope creep (idea: producing episodic content for this module, but we agree to mention it in the pitch as a business model)

2021-06-13

  • Prototype: simultaneous audio (narrator + SFX)
  • Reign in scope creep (idea: build platform instead of a game)

2021-06-12

  • Work on prototype: implement swipe gestures
  • distill week’s lectures, and see how the information applies to my team

Bibliography

  1. LENCIONI, Patrick. 2002. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: a Leadership Fable. 1st ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  2. TUCKMAN, Bruce W. 1965. “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” Psychological Bulletin 63(6), [online], 384–99. Available at: http://content.apa.org/journals/bul/63/6/384 [accessed 10 Jun 2021].
  3. BONO, Edward de. n.d. “Six Thinking Hats – De Bono Group.” Available at: https://www.debonogroup.com/services/core-programs/six-thinking-hats/ [accessed 21 Jun 2021].

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 3 of the module co-creative development.

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