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TEST YOUR TEAM

Think of your project team like a band . Bands need to practice before their first big show, and so do you .

Do a small test project first to see how the team works together. Even an hour-long exercise of designing a new toy or a product for fun will expose your team to the experience of creating something within a time limit, and will give you some inkling of what conflicts might exist among them . It also helps the team learn how to work with one another, and gives you the chance to address friction points before they turn into inescapable political roadblocks . You can then work on any conflicts and reduce them together, or minimize interaction between incendiary people on a team

Start by asking your team members what they’re interested in doing and how they might contribute to the project, and then launch into the test project . Sometimes anxiety is produced by projects that are too big where there’s too much at stake, and sometimes people want to be part of project teams without actually putting in the work, for reasons of political safety. Employees can be concerned for their reputation if the product fails, so they might be hesitant to work on a product in any other way than what they’re used to, or to implement new features that are foreign to them . In these cases, it is important to carve out a sense of creative safety on the team . Create a place where people can explore ideas that differ from those they’re used to, without fear of managerial reprisal

 
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