By Wei Soon, Manager Technical Operations - Asiasoft Solutions
My responsibility is to ensure that our technical team works as one towards achieving our company goals. I believe “team building” is critical in driving them towards excellence.
Why is a strong team so important? If two heads are better than one, imagine you have a group of smart people, that can process an even larger input of information, review a situation from all angles and together form the best all-round solution to any problem. While there is a risk of having too many cooks spoiling the broth, good team building can prevent any difficulties or “hard feelings”.
The four team building stages
There are four stages of team building:
Every time a new member joins, we will go back to storm stage. Form stage is only in the beginning when a new team needs to be form up. Eg, we can go back to form stage when a team is form up within a team, eg a project requires multiple se, this will eventually form up a team of se with different roles in the project. By understanding this, we know it is not only important team bonding is important as a main big team but it is also important as a sub team.
How does this work for our Asiasoft Team?
Our engineers spent a lot of time working at our customer’s site which means that they don’t see each other on a daily basis, that can make team bonding difficult. Therefore we have a get-to-gather meeting in the office every month, to discuss all our ongoing projects. I encourage the team to share their experiences and challenges they face. Their team members can come with suggestions and together we find solutions for every situation. Although some challenges can be difficult, these meetings are also a lot of fun. And we usually end this with a nice group lunch.
As a team we have valuable knowledge and skills and some aspects cannot be learnt effectively from courses or training, but are acquired through experience. Every new and young SE that joins our team can learn from our more experienced SE’s. By having these regular discussions we ensure succession in work and we can maintain a high standard in all our projects.
To keep growing and developing skills I encourage the team to, besides learning from each other, do self-learning, read tech blogs and attend (online) courses. I also keep an eye on our vendor certifications and make sure that if there is a new course or level at least one of our team members upgrades their certification. Another way of keeping our engineers interested and to keep moving upwards is to do activities that get us out of our comfort zones and force us to think out of the box.
Finally, I don’t only focus on my team but am also aware of my own role. I always try to present a positive aura to the team. I believe positive reinforcement has a greater effect than criticism. Thus, while it is important to stay alert and keep a close eye for problem areas in the team, it is even more important to reward and promote good team behaviour. By praising such behaviour in front of the team, it will encourage similar behaviour among other team members and together the team and I grow stronger every week.