The rise of Agile and Lean methodologies has put the role and the importance of good teams front and center. The ability to organize, structure, and lead a team is now one of the key skills that sets apart excellent project managers.
But effectively managing a team is composed of several smaller skills, including the ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas, building trust and psychological safety, and helping team members bond together.
Here are our favorite articles/videos on this topic:
Getting to know your team
25 Questions that Will Help You Know Your Teammates Better by Mike Cohen [8 min read]. A comprehensive list of 25 questions to help you get to know your teammates as people rather than as job roles and foster a feeling of all being in it together.
5 Exercises That Break Down Barriers by Minnie Bredouw [5 min read]. Walking into a room of strangers can feel daunting. Here are five ways to break down barriers when meeting new people, especially in a group setting.
Keys for managing teams well
Managing People by Steve Jobs [3 min video]. Teamwork is dependent on trusting the other folks to come through with their part without watching them all the time but trusting that they are going to come through with their parts. Listen to Steve Jobs talking about one of the key success factors at Apple.
Psychological Safety is a Prerequisite for High Performing Teams by Stefano Mastrogiacomo [5 minute read]. Simply put, psychological safety is the belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes. And it is increasingly being recognized as the key enabler of high-performance teamwork.
Write Down Your Team's Unwritten Rules by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy [10 min read]. During stressful times, it can be helpful to everyone, whether they've been at your company for years or just started last week, to know precisely what the unstated cultural and emotional norms are. This simple exercise can greatly impact easing employee anxiety and helping every person on your team feel secure and supported.
How to Encourage Your Team to Take More Risks by Noa Ganot [7 minute read]. Knowing how to take risks is an important skill. In this article, Noa offers three ways to help your team master it.
Distributed vs. Collocated teams
Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond by Kuty Shalev [10 min read]. Remote employees tend to feel excluded from the company culture. However, coming together for non-work activities online can help build trust and relationships on a geographically dispersed team.
What Colocated Teams Can Learn From Remote Teams by Noelle D. [4 min read]. Noelle explains 3 team values and best practices of distributed teams that are beneficial to all groups, distributed or otherwise.
Successful Remote Teams Communicate in Bursts by Christoph Riedl and Anita Williams Woolley [8 min read]. New research suggests remote communication is most effective when teams coordinate to communicate in rapid-fire bursts, followed by periods of uninterrupted "deep work time", when they exchange a broad diversity of information, and when they align their schedules to communicate synchronously rather than asynchronously.
Collocation, Trust, and Distributed Teams by Roman Pichler [6 min read]. While we have powerful collaboration tools at our disposal that make it possible to work across sites, countries, and continents, being separated is not always beneficial. It can damage the chances of reaching product success.
Create your Distributed Team's Workspace with These Six Tools by Mark Kilby [10 min read]. While the team members may not be collocated, they need a common work area that they can all access and be present to collaborate with teammates.Mark unpacks 6 tools that every distributed agile team should use to better collaborate on any project.
Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right.
- Peter Drucker, consultant, educator, and author