Team Management Skills. WOLFGANG HAMANN Radical Entertainment. What We Will Learn. Finding your own personal management style Hire “ Character ” not just “ Skills ” Developing Core Values for your company and your team Retaining your best employees
Team Management Skills WOLFGANG HAMANN Radical Entertainment
What We Will Learn • Finding your own personal management style • Hire “Character” not just “Skills” • Developing Core Values for your company and your team • Retaining your best employees • You can never have enough “Soft Skills” • The importance of team and company building skills
Two Short Movies • Movie #1: • Team management in the video game industry is like managing a football team! • Movie #2: • How NOT to manage a team!
1. Determining Your Own Personal Management Style • Self Analysis • Determine • Your Personal Goals – are they in line with your company’s goals? Your team’s goals? • Does your company & team see you they way you see yourself? • Your strengths • Your challenges • Improve your strengths/shore up your weaknesses
Management Style Matrix (cont’d) • Commander: “Captain Kirk of the Enterprise” Decisive, controlling, competitive, highly demanding, perfectionist, confrontational, results oriented, power conscious, dominating. Combine the directive interpersonal style with a strong relationships orientation. Commanders like being in control and thrive on using legitimate power to achieve excellent results.
Management Style Matrix (cont’d) • Facilitator: Characterized by people-pleasing, spontaneous, informal, sharing and participative, sensitive, accommodating, non emotional, conflict-avoiding. Are relational like commanders, but they prefer to facilitate (guide, encourage, equip) team members rather than to overtly direct them.
Management Style Matrix (cont’d) Bureaucrats: Like to be: organized, efficient, politically sensitive, closure-oriented, concern for routine, planner, formal, detached, information-focused, detail oriented. Like to use formal, official policies and procedures to efficiently direct ministry activities in a way that permits independent action and decision-making, minimizing the need for group deliberation and group management. Bureaucrats favour orderly, routine operations run "by the book."
Management Style Matrix (cont’d) • Entrepreneurs: Characterized as: change-oriented, innovative, persuasive, visionary, non traditional, questioning, long term focus, experimental, activist, controversial. Prefer to operate independently of organizational bureaucracy with an eye toward facilitating change and innovation. They yearn to start projects with visions of making great games that no one has made before!
Management Style Matrix (cont’d) • Which one are you? • The best managers adapt to the situation and use the right technique at the right time or a combination of techniques • You will not always succeed • Takes time and a great deal of practise and patience!
Situational Management • Effective managers manage the situation • “Reading” the situation quickly is important • Flexibility is important • Listening is important • Communicating effectively is important
Situational Management Examples • Simpsons: • Communication problems • Team motivation problems • Conflict management problems • The Hulk: • Conflict management problems • Team casting problems
Situational Management Examples (cont’d) • CSA – Critical Stage Analysis • This process • Discovered these problems and others early before they became major issues b. Facilitated team input to solve these problems c. Acted as a “feed back loop” and team building mechanism d. Does away with Postmortems
2. Hire the Right Team Members • Important to have team members who are “self actualized” • Even when the going gets tough, team members with character will do whatever it takes to make the team successful • Important to have an extensive interviewing process • Both you and the prospective team member must have a clear and thorough understanding of each other before an offer is made
Hiring (cont’d) • If you can’t wait to hire the right team member, hire the best talent on contract to get the job done • And keep on looking until you find the right fit • It may cost a bit more in the short term but save you plenty in the long run
3. Developing Core Values • Important to have a company and team mission statement • Make sure these are “marketed” internally on a regular basis • Everyone must understand these • Everyone must support these • Those that don’t should be encouraged to “leave the ship”
Mission Statement Examples • Company: • Work hard • Have fun • Balance personal life with work • Respect each other • Share your knowledge • Team • Help your team mates become better artists, programmers, designers…people! • Make the best RPG game ever • Important to have participation in developing these from all relevant parties
4. Soft Skills • Such as Conflict Management, Time Management, etc.. • These are not just for “managers” • Internal and external courses to raise the level of learning
5. Employee Retention • Is not about paying the most $$$$$ • It is about constantly getting feedback about what your employees deem the most important • It is about making these changes in a positive way • You will not be able to make everyone happy all of the time • But it is important to show that you are trying
6. Company and Team Building • For your team and company to grow, they must grow together as a team and as a company • This means the company/team must grow as a “learning unit” • Important to set a unified direction • Important to have “buy in” from all • Individuals learning on their own is not sufficient
Be A Team Player! • Game teams today are developed by “teams” NOT “individuals” • In order to have success your team must have success! • It is not a question of having disagreements (disagreements are healthy!) • But a question of how you resolve those disagreements.
Team Player (cont’d) • A team member must effectively manage: • Themselves • Their team mates • Their boss! • A good technique is to treat everyone …………….like your “boss” • Even if you are “The Boss”!
Team Player (cont’d) • Communication style is important • Effective communication is made up of: • Listening • Understanding and • Speaking effectively • Feelings ARE important and should always be dealt with first
Team Player (cont’d) • Techniques for better communication include: a. Blending - any behaviour by which you reduce the differences between yourselves to find common ground ie. “I understand you are also a football fan!” b. Backtrack – repeat what the other person said ie. “in other words….” c. Redirecting - any behaviour to change the direction of the interaction to something positive ie. From conflict to cooperation
Team Player (cont’d) • Very Important! Blend before you redirect
Team Player (cont’d) • Five step action plan for better communication: • Blend verbally and non verbally • Backtrack some of the other person’s words • Clarify their meaning and intent • Summarize what you have heard • Confirm how the other person felt
Team Player (cont’d) • Artists • Think differently than • Programmers who • Think differently than • Designers who • Think differently than • Sound artists • All have their own language and ways of communicating verbally and non verbally
Team Player (cont’d) • To work better together, each should try to learn each other’s language, style and way of doing things
Famous Quote • “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.” • - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Team Management Summary • In creating great games it is our job to help everyone we work with become the great person we know they can become • If we can do this successfully there is no telling what kind of great games we can develop
Finally • Great game concepts developed by great people in great teams make even better games!
Thank You! Team Management Skills WOLFGANG HAMANN Project Manager/Manager Sound Depart