CADDManager on April 7th, 2009

Gathering the team that actually is involved with generating the input and holding the discussions about CAD Standards is critical to the success of your efforts. Don’t just let the team develop itself.

You have to work at creating a positive team. There are two kinds of teams that you may work with. Created and Inherited. Created teams come about because you develop them. Inherited teams are there when you start the process. They are given to you. I have worked in both of these situations.

Some may inherit a team if they join a firm or get promoted into a position that takes over the process. If you inherit a team, then you have to work with what you have.

Inherited Team Issues

There are several issues that come into play when working with an inherited team. You have to work through these as you prepare and make progress with standards. The team may have been together for some time and now you have to work with them.

Hidden Agendas

Teams have tides that flow under the surface that may take some time to understand. If unspoken agendas get in the way of your progress, you will be soon going head to head with the influences of these agendas.

Existing Alliances

You will need to find out who is connected to who. These alliances will be used to influence the outcome of discussions as the unions work together and vote together. Watch to see who is hanging out together and who the friends are in the group. Watch for subtle indications that these friendships are working counter to your efforts. When they surface make sure that they are not teaming up against you. If they do that, then talk to them individually after the meeting. Splitting them up will allow you to find out what each one feels individually.

Existing Pecking Order

There may be existing structure of who is connected to who and also who can voice their opinions, who can speak to what topics, who can overrule whom and who must agree on what issues before it can become a final decision. These may be in place and fairly hard-coded into the group.

Existing Ground Rules

We have discussed ground rules in a previous post. Existing teams may have unwritten ground rules that they understand, but you may be walking into a mine field. Teams have ways of settling into certain ways of doing things. The team may interact in ways that you do not understand. You may try to work in a way that the team does not understand. All of this can make progress harder.

If you inherit a team, it will take more time to get them to work with you and in a manner that you are comfortable with. It can be successful, but it takes work.

Next time… Creating a team

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