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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Project Stories

The Team

Yes, we formed a team, a beautiful team, with 20–25 performers. Some were experienced TRW veterans, but most members of the team were in their 20s (the GEN-Ys of today), a few fresh out of college including undergraduates, some with master's and PhD degrees, a good mix of male and female personnel, a few non-natives (from South America, Asia, and the Middle East), and a lot of enthusiasm. It did not take a long time for the team to gel, with many having lunch together most days (do people still do that these days?), others even becoming good social friends. And of course, we also had your typical "nerds" who produced tons and did not like socializing much (we will tell you more about that later). Keep in mind that most of the members were totally comfortable with the new technology since they were coming from universities that were pioneers in the Internet (like UCLA). The target community, however, represented much of the standard company personnel, used to the "old" ways.

The Challenge

Our challenge was to convince the typical project personnel to adopt a new style of development and collaboration as a team and use the new technologies we were bringing. The SPP was aiming at changing the culture, establishing LANs, and bringing all members of the project to communicate via email and to use automation for the development and non-development activities. (Remember: that was in the '80s …. On the other hand, things haven't changed; we can observe the same issues ...

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