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Putting the "I" Back into Team

by William E. Perry

ISBN: 978-0-932633-68-2  
©2009  152 pages   softcover  
$21.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Software Project Management, Team Management, Technical Leadership

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Grow Individual
Contributions to Teamwork

It will surprise few professionals working in software development today to read that teams and teamwork are critical ingredients of a global economy. Productivity, product development and release, and even a company's survival increasingly will depend on teams to solve business problems. What may come as a surprise -- and a wake-up call -- is that, in many businesses, teams are completely ineffective.

One reason, posits William E. Perry in iTeam: Putting the "I" Back into Team, is that most organizations put too much emphasis on joint effort, removing responsibility, ownership, and reward from individuals appointed to teams. What typically results is dysfunctional, essentially leaderless, and lacking in motivation.

Perry's call to put the emphasis back on individual responsibility among collaborating teammates is an urgent one. Decisions now made by management will more and more frequently be made and implemented by teams, making it necessary for organizations to ensure that the creativity and innovative methods of individuals be retained on teams.

Through extensive team experience and interviews with hundreds of individuals who have spent thousands of hours in team meetings, Perry has identified the attributes of great teams and great teamwork. iTeam examines the ten biggest challenges standing between most teams and excellence and explores in depth the fifty best practices teams can employ to improve performance.

Concluding that world-class teams comprise individuals who do what is right for their organization, and do what is right the right way, iTeam presents a clear, practical argument for building teams that have at their core a strong, proven leader who encourages and motivates team members to fulfill their team responsibilities.

Topics include:

  • Reengineering the Team Approach to Problem Solving
  • The Top-Ten Challenges to Effective Teamwork
  • Selecting a Team Leader Who Will Lead
  • Defining Team Entrance and Exit Criteria
  • Selecting Team Members for Specific Roles
  • Building Trust Among Team Members
  • Training Team Members to Accomplish Their Assignments
  • Listening to the Voice of the Customer
  • Breaking Down Silos
  • Avoiding Groupthink
  • Assuring That Team Efforts Are Successful
  • Rewarding Individual Team Members
  • Keeping Teamwork Competitive
  • Emerging Team Practices
  • and much more


". . . Perry demolishes one of the most ridiculous phrases that has become popular in recent times, 'There is no "I" in team.' It is nonsense because it is the individual differences, the unique 'I's' if you will, that make teams great. Those distinct 'I's' must be properly selected, nurtured and then correctly channeled towards the collective goal for a team to be a great one. . . . the book is excellent in presenting sound principles of team building and what is often more important, team maintenance."

Charles Ashbacher, posted on Amazon.com

". . . focuses on the individual needs of team members. At the same time, these individual needs are balanced with the team needs, assuring that the team will be effective and able to deliver. I highly recommend this book to anybody working with teams."

Ben Linders, SQE Magazine

"This book is packed full of common, no-nonsense information designed to get the corporate team functioning at peak efficiency. . . . Putting the 'I' back into team helps the team leaders and team members realize that the team is full of these 'I'ndividuals who need to be trained, nurtured, rewarded and even 'cut' from the team if the need arises, for the greater good of the team."

Warren R. Glore, SQE Magazine


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