9. Design Teams

• Selecting team membership appropriately increased the chance of success in the design.

9.1 Team Profiles

• To select members of teams we must consider psychological factors and the general objectives of a design.

9.1.1 Personalities

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• We can develop categories of people by using some indicators of personality (this is not to be taken too seriously). - Personality Traits

• In terms of organizational behavior there are some traits (note: not strengths) that may be identified. A personality can be made up of a combination of these traits.

a. detail oriented: pays a great amount of attention to information. Investigative in nature. This person does not like lingering questions, etc. A large amount of time will be spent trying to prove things completely

b. planning/organization: looks forward and lays out steps. Prefers a well ordered sequence and wants to know/decide what will happen next and on.

c. innovator: breaks traditional molds. This person does not mind changing direction and will invent unexpected solutions.

d. concrete/constructor: A ‘touchy-feely’ person that move easily into implementation. This person is skills oriented and will take pleasure in the practice/methods of developing a solution.

• A good team will overall have a combination of each of these traits.

• As an exercise,

1. pick a partner.

2. for your partner, write down a number from 1 to 4 for the points above. The total score cannot be above 10. Don’t let your partner see your numbers.

3. write down similar numbers for yourself.

4. talk to your partner about the numbers you got, compared to what they gave you. - Personality Types

• We can also classify individuals as,


concept/detail oriented



• When introverted individuals are encountered,

encourage them to speak out

make team members aware of the introverts message

use introverts to “check” extroverts

• Extroverted individuals may require,

slow them down and allow time for thought

make extroverts listen to others and repeat

ensure they don’t “dominate” the group

• Fact oriented people,

need to be encouraged to think wildly

need to plan/set goals before starting

• Concept oriented people,

need to be grounded in detail and should be asked to explain in detail.

keep these individuals on track

• As an exercise, consider what to do with the remaining two personality types to make a design team more effective.


9.1.2 Team Composition

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• Typical personality types found on a team might include,

coordinator: a natural leader

creator: develops new ideas

resource/investigator: does “leg-work”

shaper: problem solver

monitor/evaluator: has vision

team worker: dislikes dissent

implementor: uses tried methods well

completer/finisher: gets things done

• A good team will have some combination of all of these.

9.1.3 Team Success

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• Some guidelines for a successful team,

1. Productivity: a well laid out (realistic) set of goals, purpose and methods will lead to an enthusiastic team.

2. Composition: technically capable and well matched personalities

3. Methods: lay out the problem solving styles and techniques

4. Immediate Gratification: devise goals and objectives to develop frequent feelings of accomplishment

5. Bonding: team members should spend time to develop personal relationships

9.2 References

9.1 Ullman, D.G., The Mechanical Design Process, McGraw-Hill, 1997.


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