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|INTRODUCTION TO TEAMWORK|
V.Ryan © 2017
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Throughout the team project, you will be assessed on your planning, organisational skills and the way you work with each other.
Working as Team will give all members the opportunity to work to a share objective (to complete the batch manufacture of a small product). Completing a small batch of a quality product, during a limited timescale, will be a testing target. You will be expected to meet deadlines, in terms of the time allowed for planning and manufacturing the product, followed by time to prepare and present a talk, to the entire class.
There are a range of skills that you will need to display. these will include the ability to think ahead, to consider alternative designs and opinions. Teamwork requires all the members to be effective listeners and to respect the opinions of others. The ability to negotiate and to respond positively to feedback, are also essentials team characteristics.
|WHY IS TEAMWORK IMPORTANT?|
|1. A team of people working on a design problem, are more likely to solve the problem in a shorter time, than an individual working on the same problem.
2. Individual members of a team, bring with them their own set of skills and experiences.
3. Each individual will have contacts and associates, who will be able to give advice and guidance. This means that a team will have numerous contacts to call upon, whereas an individual designer will have a limited number in comparison.
4. A team that works well together, will be more innovative than an individual, because they will be able to discuss and share ideas and act on team feedback.
5. Individual members of a team can be allocated individual roles and problems to solve. Delegating individual problems to team members, is much more efficient than one person trying to solve all the design problems by himself/herself.
6. When a design problem is given to a team of designers, it is possible that one or more of the members will have worked on something similar. This could help speedup the design process.
7. Some design teams are composed of members with specific specialisms. Individual members will have been selected for the team, so that their specialism complements the other specialisms in the team. For example, a design team may have a materials technologist, a production line manager, a prototype specialist, a financial expert (for working manufacturing costs), a mechanical engineer and an electrical engineer. A single individual could not possibly have the same breadth of experience / skills.
8. A focus group is a team. Sometimes teams are not involved in the entire design process, but they provide feedback to a design team, offering their opinions and advice regarding improvements. One person cannot offer the best feedback, but a group can discuss problems and offer a wider range of advice/improvements.
9. Decisions made by a team, are determined through discussion and debate. Decisions tend to be a result of contributions by all it’s members, through an organised structure. This reflects democracy and the way most progressive societies work.
10. Being a member of a design team, allows individual members to improve their communication and debating skills. These are essential skills in the business and industrial world.
|DESIGN TEAM STRUCTURE|
Numerous structures can be applied to all design teams. They vary in size and composition, depending on the product to be designed / problem to be solved. It is important that the design team includes the skills and experiences required to solve the design problem. For example, if the product being designed has a circuit, it makes sense to include at least one electronics specialist.
Usually, a design team will have a member from a ‘focus group’. The focus group will test and discuss prototype designs and suggest improvements. The focus group member will feedback to the design team.
A senior designer will be in overall charge. It will be his/her role to organise the team, so that all members work effectively and keep on task. He/she will lead meetings and discussions.
|ONE POSSIBLE TEAM STURCTURE|
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