Career Corner: Build an Effective Collaborative Team


Engineering projects are typically complex and executed by multidisciplinary teams that must achieve project milestones on tight deadlines. To add to the complexity, team members may not know each other, come from disparate backgrounds, and work from remote locations. These circumstances can make collaboration challenging. Follow this guidance to overcome obstacles and assemble highly effective teams.

Establish the leader’s role. The team leader plays a critical role in getting the team off to a good start. The leader articulates the team’s vision and works with members to determine a path to achieve team goals. “It’s the leader’s role to get the team to answer questions such as ‘What are our shared values as a team?’ and ‘What do we as a team want and need from each other to get the project done?,’” says Susan Ascher, leadership coach and CEO of the Ascher Group.

It is up to the leader to establish ground rules for team interactions. The rules can include statements such as “We will be polite to each other and listen to each other’s point of view” and “We will be accountable for the tasks that we agree to take on.”

“It’s also important to define upfront which decision mechanism the team will use. Will decisions be made...

Author Bios: 

Loraine Kasprzak

Loraine Kasprzak, Advantage Marketing’s Founder and Managing Director, is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC),  MBA and ChemE with over 17 years of hands-on experience in marketing communications and strategy. One of Loraine’s strengths is her ability to help her clients clarify their thinking so that they can focus and fine-tune their message for the marketplace.

Prior to beginning her management consulting career in 1995, Loraine worked for 12 years in corporate America, advancing through various engineering, marketing and management roles. She started...Read more

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