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ETM5221 Engineering Teaming: Application and Execution. Nicholas C. Romano, Jr. [email protected] Paul E. Rossler [email protected] Week 4 April 23, 2002 Group Dynamics . Agenda. A quick review of difficulties with groups Helping direct group dynamics

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Week 4 april 23 2002 group dynamics l.jpg
Week 4 April 23, 2002Group Dynamics


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Agenda

  • A quick review of difficulties with groups

  • Helping direct group dynamics

  • Jelled teams and productive workplaces

  • The mythical man-month

  • Key features of the Group System Concept


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Meeting purposes: Almost 2/3 involve complex group processes

(Monge, P. R., McSween, C., & Wyer, J. 1989)


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Look who’s talking processes

  • Traditional Teamwork

    • Boss talked 33% of time

    • Next person 22%

  • Technology Supported Teamwork

    • Boss talked 5 %

    • Next person 8%

(From Romano)


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A quick review of difficulties with groups processes

  • Some tasks are simply not well suited for group methods or processes

  • Often develop preferred ways of looking at problems that can inhibit innovation

  • Synergistic effect can be absent

    • For example, brainstorming doesn’t exceed performance of individually produced and combined results


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Difficulties (continued) processes

  • Politics, power, and position can dominate methods or results

    • Or can suppress contributions of others

  • A group fulfills social needs, but group seldom has ways of regulating amount

  • Fairly reliable characteristic of groups to get off track and get stuck there


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Difficulties (continued) processes

  • Groups tend to have relatively low aspiration levels with respect to quality of solutions accepted

    • Once some level of acceptance is inferred, little further search happens

  • Often lack concern and method for dealing with way to best utilize and communicate members’ knowledge


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Difficulties (continued) processes

  • Strongly influenced by cultural norms

    • In natural groups, members tend to be conservative, circumspect

  • If the group’s efforts do not appear reinforced, effort is reduced

  • As group size increases, effort contributed by each individual member tends to decrease


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Difficulties (continued) processes

  • Reliably exhibit norms against devoting time to planning their methods

    • Move immediately to attacking problem, relying on implicitly shared methods

    • Considerable likelihood that method is poorly adapted to task and only modestly effective

    • Seldom have ability to change the method when things not going well


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Effective use of roles and process help direct dynamics processes

  • Group process management roles

  • Group process member roles

    • Task

    • Maintenance

    • Non-productive

  • Group process communication patterns

  • Team member roles


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An input-process-output model of teamwork processes

Group

Task

Process

Outcome

Context

Technology

(Source: Doug Vogel)


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Artificial Intelligence processesSensemaking


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Hi processes

Idea Generation

Idea Organization

Prioritizing

Policy Development

Satisfaction

Lo

1

1 1/2

1/2

1 - 2

Time

Satisfaction as a Function of Task


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AI Categorizer processes

  • Analyzes semantic content

  • Finds and clusters like ideas

  • Performs as well or better

  • as an expert human


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Group process management roles processes

  • Leader

    • Plans agenda (including what’s offline)

    • Decides process

    • Ensures closure and continuity


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Group process management roles (cont’d.) processes

  • Facilitator

    • Uses group processes to help group

      • Engage in divergent thinking

      • Survive stress relief, catharsis stage

      • Formulate creative proposals

      • Bring agreements to closure

    • Ensures procedural fairness


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Group process processesmanagement roles (cont’d.)

  • Recorder

    • Assists facilitator

    • Captures action items and decisions

  • Process observer

    • Makes note of roles played by group members

    • Notes communication patterns

    • Comments on process quality when appropriate


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Task Roles processes

Initiating Activity

  • Proposing solutions

  • Suggesting new ideas, problem definitions, approaches, or organization of material


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Seeking Information

  • Asking for clarification of suggestions, requesting additional information, or facts


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Seeking Opinion

  • Looking for an expression of feeling about something from members

  • Seeking clarification of values, suggestions, or ideas


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Giving Information

  • Offering facts or generalizations

  • Relating one's own pertinent experience to the group problem to illustrate points


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Giving Opinion

  • Stating an opinion or belief concerning the value of a suggestion or one of several suggestions


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Elaborating

  • Clarifying, giving examples or developing meanings

  • Trying to envision how a proposal might work if adopted


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Coordinating

  • Showing relationships among various ideas or suggestions

  • Attempting to draw together activities, ideas, or suggestions of various subgroups or members.


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Task Roles (cont’d.) processes

Summarizing

  • Restating suggestions after the group has discussed them


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Maintenance Roles processes

Encouraging

  • Being friendly, warm, responsive to others

  • Praising others and their ideas

  • Agreeing with and accepting contributions of others


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Maintenance Roles (cont’d.) processes

Gatekeeping

  • Trying to make it possible for another member to make a contribution to the group


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Maintenance Roles (cont’d.) processes

Standard Setting

  • Expressing standards for the group to use in choosing its content, procedures, decision making

  • Reminding the group to avoid decisions which conflict with group standards


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Maintenance Roles (cont’d.) processes

Following

  • Going along with decisions of the group

  • Thoughtfully accepting ideas of others

  • Serving as audience during group discussion


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Maintenance Roles (cont’d.) processes

Expressing Group Feeling

  • Summarizing what group feeling is sensed to be

  • Describing reactions of the group to ideas or solutions


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Combination Task and Maintenance Roles processes

Evaluating

  • Submitting group decisions or accomplishments to comparison with group standards

  • Measuring accomplishments against goals


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Combination Task and Maintenance Roles (cont’d.) processes

Diagnosing

  • Determining sources of difficulties, appropriate steps to take next

  • Analyzing the main block to progress


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Combination Task and Maintenance Roles (cont’d) processes

Mediating

  • Harmonizing

  • Conciliating differences in points of view

  • Suggesting compromise solutions


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Combination Task and Maintenance Roles (cont’d) processes

Relieving Tension

  • Draining of negative feelings by jesting

  • Putting a tense situation in wider context


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Combination Task and Maintenance Roles (cont’d) processes

Testing for Consensus

  • Tentatively asking for group opinions in order to find out whether the group is nearing consensus on a decision

  • Sending up trial balloons to test group opinions

  • Purpose is not necessarily for decision making but rather to suggest where effort needs to be focused


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Managing agreeement processes

  • Endorsement – “I like it”

  • Endorsement with minor point of contention

  • Agreement with reservations – “I can live with it”

  • Abstain

Kaner, S., Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. 1996, Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers.


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Managing agreement (cont’d.) processes

  • Stand aside – “I don’t like this, but I don’t want to hold up the group”

  • Formal disagreement but willing to go with majority

  • Formal disagreement with requirement to be absolved of any responsibility for implementation

Kaner, S., Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. 1996, Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers.


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Ways to poorly manage agreement processes

  • Agree on top 20 priorities

  • Delegate a job to someone who is already overworked

  • Establish a policy that has no accountability built into it


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Ways to poorly manage agreement processes

  • Create a committee to do the same work over again

  • Make an agreement that will be vetoed by someone who is not present

  • Agree to “try harder” from now on


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Nonproductive Roles processes

Being Aggressive

  • Criticizing or blaming others

  • Showing hostility against the group or some individual

  • Deflating the ego or status of others


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Self-Confessing

  • Using the group as a sounding board

  • Expressing personal, non group-oriented feelings or points of view


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Competing

  • Vying with others to produce the best idea, talk the most, play the most roles, gain favor with the leader


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Blocking

  • Going off on a tangent

  • Citing personal experiences unrelated to the problem

  • Arguing too much on a point

  • Rejecting ideas without consideration


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Seeking Sympathy

  • Trying to induce other group members to be sympathetic to one's problems or misfortunes

  • Deploring one's own situation

  • Disparaging one's own ideas to gain support


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Special Pleading

  • Introducing or supporting suggestions related to one's own pet concerns or philosophies, lobbying


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Horsing Around

Seeking Recognition

  • Attempting to call attention to one's self by loud or excessive talking, extreme ideas, unusual behavior


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Nonproductive Roles (cont’d.) processes

Withdrawal

  • Acting indifferent or passive, resorting to excessive formality, daydreaming, doodling, whispering to others, wandering from the subject


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Patterns of communication processes

  • Who talks? For how long? How often?

  • At whom do people look when they speak?

    a. Single-out individuals, possible potential supporters

    b. The group

    c. No one


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Patterns of communication (cont’d.) processes

  • Who talks after whom? Who interrupts whom?

  • What style of communication is used?


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Roadblocks to effective team dynamics processes

  • Lack of a Proper Foundation

    • Unclear mission

    • No ground rules or overarching policies or processes

  • Failure to Communication As a Team

  • Poor Conflict Resolution

Thoman, S., Roadblocks to effective team dynamics in the IPPD environment. Program Manager, 2000. 29(4): p. 104 ff.


Roadblocks to effective team dynamics cont d l.jpg
Roadblocks to effective team dynamics (cont’d.) processes

  • Unrecognized Gender Differences

    • In listening, methods of interruption, linguistic styles

  • Differences Between Military Personnel and Civilians

  • Insufficient Team Recognition


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Behaviors that help a team processes

  • Focus on the goal

  • Work toward consensus

  • Speak up

  • Use conflict constructively

  • Respect age diversity

Kamberg, M.-L., The dynamics of team interaction. Women in Business, 2001. 53(2): p. 42 ff.


Behaviors that help a team cont d l.jpg
Behaviors that help a team (cont’d.) processes

  • Do your share -- and then some

  • Carve out your own niche

  • Cooperate

  • Evaluate ideas

  • Exhibit team spirit


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Behaviors to avoid processes

  • Talking too much

  • Beating a dead horse

  • Being unclear

  • Changing the subject

Kamberg, M.-L., The dynamics of team interaction. Women in Business, 2001. 53(2): p. 42 ff.


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Behaviors to avoid (cont’d.) processes

  • Making criticism personal

  • Taking criticism personally

  • Dragging out action points


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A jelled team exhibits synergy processes

  • All members buy into common goal

    • Strong personal incentive vs. reliance on professionalism

  • Purpose of team is goal alignment, not goal attainment

  • The probability of success greatly increases

  • Don’t require traditional management or motivation

(Source: DeMarco and Lister)


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Signs of a jelled team processes

  • Low turnover during project planning and execution

  • Strong sense of identity

  • Sense of eliteness

  • Joint ownership of the product

  • Obvious enjoyment

(Source: DeMarco and Lister)


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Chemistry for team formation processes

  • Make a cult of quality

  • Provide lots of satisfying closure

    • Take pains to divide work into pieces

  • Build a sense of eliteness

  • Allow and encourage heterogeneity

(Source: DeMarco and Lister)


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Chemistry for team formation (cont’d.) processes

  • Preserve and protect successful teams

  • Provide strategic, but not tactical, direction

    • Network, not hierarchy


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Guidelines for who processesto invite to meetings

  • Relevant experience

  • Must be in on decision

  • Are crucial to implementation

  • Most affected by the problem addressed

Summarized in Romano, N.C. and J.F. Nunamaker. Meeting analysis: Findings from research and practice. In Proceedings of 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 2001: IEEE.


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Guidelines for who processesto invite to meetings (cont’d.)

  • Responsible to resolve or implement decision

  • Direct responsibility and authority over topic of discussion

  • Enough knowledge to contribute meaningfully

  • Information unavailable elsewhere


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Developing an agenda processes

Handle before meeting

Prioritize

topics and specify success for each

List potential topics

Define

goal

for each

Handle

during

meeting

Handle after

meeting

Based on Kaner, S., Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. 1996, Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers.


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Team performance depends in part on the workplace processes

Source for this section: DeMarco, T. and T. Lister, Peopleware: Productivity Projects and Teams (2nd Ed.). 1999, New York: Dorset Hourse Publishing Co.


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Major problems not so much technological as social processes

  • Most managers agree, but then don’t manage this way

    • Background and training

    • High tech illusion

      • Mostly in human communications business

    • Easier to do


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Development inherently different from production processes

  • Encouraging some errors (experimentation) vs. squeezing out errors

  • Working smarter vs. pressure to work harder

  • Unique, skilled knowledge work vs. routine production or service work


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Development inherently different (cont’d) processes

  • Dynamic effort vs. steady state

  • Effectiveness (doing right things) vs. efficiency (doing things right)


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People under time pressure don’t work better, just faster processes

  • More per hour of pay or more per hour of work?

  • The push of delivery dates and tight schedules

  • The pull of other places, other things

  • Overtime less Undertime equals zero

  • Risk of increased turnover

  • Productivity as benefit divided by cost


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Quality leads to higher productivity processes

  • Market derived quality standard make sense only if effects on builders ignored

    • To builders, tied to self-esteem, pride of work

    • Builders chided for tinkering, then blamed for poor quality


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The new converging conference room walls processes

helped make meeings short and to the point.


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High quality, low cost: like having cake and eating it too processes

  • Improved quality often requires significant investment

  • The power of veto over delivery


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Organizational busy work tends to expand to fill day processes

  • Parkinson’s Law – work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

    • Doesn’t apply to most people

    • Research suggests programmers more productive when setting own schedule

      • And even more productive when set by systems analyst

      • And still more productive when no estimate prepared

    • When to apply schedule pressure?



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Physical environment affects performance processes

  • Best outperforms worst 10:1, median 2.5 to 1

  • Two people from same organization tend to perform alike




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Roughly a third of the time people are noise sensitive processes

  • Knowledge work requires flow

  • Flow hours vs. body time hours

  • E-factors

    • Uninterrupted Hours / Body-Present Hours


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Quantity of hours easier to measure than quality processes

  • Gilb’s Law

    • Anything you need to quantify can be measured in some way that is superior to not measuring at all

  • Effective use requires that management cut itself out of the loop

    • Individuals inclined to use data for improvement


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Typical objections to rearranging physical space processes

  • People don’t care about glitz

    • Doesn’t mean they don’t care about any workplace attributes

  • Cheaper ways to deal with noise

    • The effects of lost creativity are cumulative


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Typical objections (cont’d.) processes

  • Enclosed offices don’t make for an interactive environment

    • Group offices or suites are alternatives


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Cost varies as function of people and time, progress doesn’t

Perfectly partionable task

Unpartitionable task

Time

Time

People

People

Source: Brooks, Jr., F.P. (1975/95) The Mythical Man-Month. Addison Wesley.


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The mythical man-month doesn’t

Task with Complex Relationships

Partionable Task Requiring Communication

Time

Time

People

People


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Key features of the Group System Concept doesn’t

  • Parallel Processing (simultaneous contributions)

  • Anonymity (promotes equal participation)

  • Focus on content not personalities

  • Triggering (stimulates thinking)



Key features cont d l.jpg
Key features (cont’d.) doesn’t

  • Synergy (integrates ideas)

  • Structure (facilitates problem solving)

  • Record keeping (promotes organizational memory)

  • Output from one software tool can serve as input to another


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What makes this productive? doesn’t

  • Parallel Processing

  • Organizational Memory

  • Meeting to Meeting Support

  • Access to External Information

  • Addresses Behavioral Issues that Impact Meeting Productivity


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Some of you may be having trouble doesn’t

with the concept of “Groupware.”


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