Notes on having productive team meetings
- Set goals
- Discuss what does the team need to achieve together that can't be
done individually or through e-mail.
- Make the decision process explicit.
- Will one person make the decision based on team input?
- Majority rules?
- Consensus required?
- Set a time limit
- Take notes during the meeting
- If a resolution isn't reached by the time limit, then decide on a
strategy for reaching a resolution at the next meeting (more
information, alternate procedure, new team member ...)
- When the meeting adjourns, everyone should have explicit tasks and
goals. Review these goals before everyone leaves. Be sure you all
agree on what each person will do and what he/she will bring to the
- Distribute the meeting notes to everyone in the team within one
day of the meeting.
- Keeps a group on track
- Makes sure the ideas from quiet people are heard
- Synthesizes discussions
- Time keeper
- Keeps track of time. The time keeper can say things like:
"We've used up half our meeting time and have only
covered one item. We have ten more items to cover." The time keeper
should also let the group know when there are 5 or 10 minutes left in
the meeting so that the decisions made during the meeting can be summarized and
tasks can be assigned.
- The scribe should take notes at
the meeting and distribute them after the meeting.
- Most engineering projects are done by interdisciplinary teams.
- These teams can be made up of people from
- several engineering disciplines, e.g., electrical, mechanical, chemical
- other business functions, e.g., marketing, sales, testing, maintenance
- You need to be able to work effectively in a group of people who have
a common primary goal, but who often have very different secondary goals
Common strategies for team work
- Divide and conquer
- Coordinate and collaborate
What are the implications of these strategies?
Can you think of other strategies?
Ability to communicate
Willingness to pitch in and work toward the common goal
Willingness to take on different roles in the group
Ability to communicate
Remember communication is two-way!
Even though these roles may be assigned, anyone can play any role at
- Diversity of skills and interests
- Diversity of personality types
- Judging/Perceiving ( ~= Criticizing/Creating)
Think about the design games from the first day of class. How do they
relate to team communication?
- Verbal (e.g. memos, reports, change orders)
- Oral (e.g. presentations, phone calls, meetings)
- Schematic (e.g. circuit diagrams, flow charts, blue prints)
- Name ball
- Sound ball
- What are you doing?
- Quality of process
- Generate ideas and formulate problems and tasks
- Work effectively in a group setting: carrying one's share of the responsibilities
- Respond effectively to guidance and criticism from peers
- Complete specific tasks and analyses on time
- Quality of product
- Use problem solving and analytical skills
- Interpret data and analyze problems
- Integrate work with overall group and project effort
- Demonstration of professionalism
- Attend meetings promptly
- Deliver agreed upon parts of the project
- Seek information from resources (other team members, instructor, outside experts, library, web)
- Pull fair share with regard to overall work load on project
- Demonstration of initiative
- Develop ideas constructively with others
- Make helpful suggestions on ways to accomplish goals
- Listen to and absorb what other team members say
- Give input, but allow others to talk
- Include ideas from others when summarizing
- Demonstration of effectiveness in independent work
- Meet deadlines
- Share resources when appropriate
- Summary Evaluation
- What specific suggestions would you make to this individual for work on future group projects?
- What was the individual's most valuable contribution to the group?