Session 4 - Team Building (June 2021 Cohort)

Hello @june21-cohort! This week’s session will be the first of two sessions that focus on teams. We’ll discuss the components of a good team, and we’ll work together to help everyone identify what might be missing on your teams.

I’ll also share some general information about what teamwork can do for your projects and how you can manage your group of collaborators. Given our people-first approaches publishing, both of these items will be important to keep in mind.

Week 4 Resources:

  1. Handout: Team Building
  2. Slides: Team Building

Reminder: If you’d like to get access to Pressbooks through Rebus, go over to Monica’s thread, and she will help to get you set up. There are also some links to additional Pressbooks resources that will be useful regardless of whether you get Pressbooks access through Rebus or through your own institution.

As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in our discussion space. See you Tuesday!

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Hello @june21-cohort! Thanks for a great session yesterday! I’m excited about how your projects are continuing to take shape as you think through your project outlines, familiarize yourself with tools like Pressbooks, and begin to recruit additional collaborators.

Session Recap

Teams are going to be inevitable, as you’re going to end up working with someone on your project eventually, so we recommend you start thinking about how to cultivate and manage a good team (see a summary of what makes a good team in our slides). Teams can come in all shapes and sizes, and should be composed of people with diverse perspectives, roles, and skill sets (look at who all can be involved in the slides). Teams are beneficial for more than just sharing the workload (see some other reasons in our slides). When you’re setting your team up, keep in mind that roles can be mixed and matched, and that the combination of an administrative team (that focuses on day to day tasks) and an advisory team or steering committee (that guides high level process) can prove useful.

As a project manager, you want to manage and encourage your team without taking advantage of the passion that volunteers have. Take a look at the strategies we suggest, and remember that a good team needs more than just a taskmaster. Everyone’s well-being is just as important as the project itself and ultimately, having a team that’s happy also makes the process a whole lot more enjoyable. If complex situations arise with team members, refer to documentation you’ve prepared, and be understanding and open to conversation before you make any decisions. Things may occasionally deviate from the plan, but remember that we’re all human. In that spirit, remember to look after yourself too — take breaks as you would on any other project and set the example for how you’d like other team members to participate and contribute.

Chat Transcript and Resources

Here’s our Week 4 session chat transcript as well as links to resources that were shared during the session.

I encourage you to continue reflecting on the activity we did during this week’s session where we began to identify gaps that might exist in your teams as they currently stand (or conversely, to think about the people/resources that you already have). You may discover additional gaps as you refine your projects over time. Many of you have identified connections that you already have that may help to address these gaps. I encourage you to start thinking about who you might want to reach out to, even if they’re individuals you haven’t interacted with before. As I mentioned, don’t be afraid to aim high and ask the people who you think might make valuable contributions to your work. Be sure to have a clear explanation of your project and the role(s) you’re asking people to fill, so that they know what they’re getting into.

There were some great questions that came up this week, such as how to incentivize/recognize the work of potential collaborators, especially if money isn’t an option. If you would like some help brainstorming about this or any other questions that come up, please don’t hesitate to raise those concerns here in our discussion space. See you all next week!

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These are so fabulous — thank you for sharing! We’ll be adding these documents to our handout, so that folks can come back to it more easily.

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