Session 4. Team Building (May '21)

Hi @may21-cohort! This Thursday we’ll focus on part 1 of our two sessions on teams. We’ll discuss the components of a good team, and 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. There’s a lot for us to get through tomorrow!

One more thing: You may have already seen Monica’s announcement about your Pressbooks space (if you elect to use it). If not, here’s her Pressbooks announcement.

Week 4 Resources:

  1. Handout: Team Building

  2. Slides: Team Building

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Hi @may21-cohort, here’s our Week 4 session chat transcript, recap, resources that were mentioned, and a checklist for the asynchronous portion. It looks like a handful of you have opted in for the Pressbooks option! I’m excited to see how those spaces develop over the next several weeks. If you are interested in reserving a Pressbooks textbook space but haven’t yet, here’s Monica’s announcement, which includes some helpful resources for getting started.

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.


Week 4 Checklist

  • Read the section on teams in the Rebus Guide
    • Optional: Watch the short videos on building and leading teams in the Making Open Textbooks series
  • Identify key roles needed on your team (refer to the Roles and Responsibilities section of the Rebus Guide), and create titles for team members to share in professional settings
  • If you haven’t already, establish clear lines of communication within the team
  • Consider who is available to you as an advisor if issues arise