The Influence of a Team Leader on Team Dynamics and Motivation Timo de Winter
When the team dynamics are right and people are motivated, there will be a boost of productivity and it will create an opportunity to utilize the skills and hidden talents that every team member has. When the skill of leadership is not applied correctly (or not at all) it can lead to lack of motivation and trust within the group. It can drive a team apart which will result in a poorly designed product, or even worse, no product at all. Keywords
Team dynamics, motivation, leadership, project management, agile development, motivational DNA INTRODUCTION
The paper you're about to read is not the kind of paper I had been asked to write, it is a risk for me to do this, but I am willing to take it since I see the importance of the subject. The assignment was to write a paper research that lead to a design decision, made during the past project. In my case this was the Playful Government project that I worked on with my team High Speed Sloth. Later in this paper I will go deeper into the details of this project, but for now allow me to explain why I'm taking the risk writing this paper. In the two years I have been studying Interaction Design at the HKU, I've gained design-, programming-, and research skills. All of these are incredibly useful skills to have as an Interaction Designer. However, in the past few months I have noticed that there is one more skill that is very often forgotten, and not taught. It's the skill to lead a team of great and talented people. It is the skill that will allow you to create an environment where people feel comfortable, motivated and appreciated, all of which will lead to a great product. I feel strongly that if you are able to create and sustain an environment where people respect each other, have the same goals, and feel comfortable, talents will bloom, friendships will form, and a great product will be born. Without the skill of leading a team in this way, there's an instant loss and waste of time. I hope that this paper will give you an insight on what I tried to create this special environment, but also what I should have done and didn't do. As I mentioned earlier, this paper is about a skill that I have not been taught enough at the HKU. Excuse my ignorance and incorrect assumptions, I've been trying something new that I feel passionate about and hopefully my experiences can help you in any way. This is a paper about how I’ve tried to form a strong, fun, and successful team. If you don't learn anything new, forgive me, but that means you’re at least on the right track. This paper could have been 10 times longer than it is, but this is a collection of the techniques I applied, not a collection about all the techniques that exist. Playful Government
It all started when I found out I was assigned to work on a project for the Dutch government called 'Playful Government'. In the short briefing we got we heard that we had to come up with a playful solution to make the heidagen and workshops that the government organizes more effective. The problem was that after a one or two day heidag people don't execute all the plans they made and very often simply forget about them. This causes the same issues to arise every yearly heidag. In other words, heidagen aren't as effective as they could be. We came up with a concept that makes people more involved with the project they worked on at the heidag, and they will get reminded about these projects afterwards by receiving a reward for all the milestones they reach. For more information about the project, please visit highspeedsloth.mijnhku.nl. On the first day of our project our project coordinator assigned me the role of Project Lead. Initially I wan't very excited about this since I had been leading all the projects at the HKU so far. Being a project leader usually meant that I was going to do a huge chunk of the work. This wasn't anybody's fault but mine,...
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