Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2012


Robert Dryden

Course Title

Communication and Team Building

Course Number

ETM 522/622


Technology -- Management, Teams in the workplace, Communication in small groups


On January 11, 2012 The ETM Communications and Team Building 522/622 class began. After initial introduction of the course, Dr. Dryden instructed class members to form teams of 4 to 6 people that would work together for the entire quarter. This was the beginning of Team Velocity.

Most of us knew nothing of our team members when we formed. We formed primarily by chance. Our team consisted of six very diverse people. Mohammad, our unofficial team leader, is from Dubai UAE, three of the girls, Bahareh, Mitra, and Sara are from Iran, and Carl is home grown USA. One member left our team after the first class, however during the second session of class another member joined and became a member of our team; Puniti is from India. Beyond diversity, our team had a generation gap as well as industry experience gap. The age gap is over 20 years between our oldest member and youngest member. Finally, we had very diverse backgrounds in education from Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Architectural Engineering, to Biology. One might expect that with this type of diversity, age gap, industry experience, and different education backgrounds, there would be inherent conflict to deal with. This was not the case for our team. We had very little conflict within our team and the conflict we did have was rather insignificant. We worked effectively together and respected each other’s opinions. This does not mean we all played the same role in our team. We had people that were more outspoken and quickly took a leadership role. We had members who were very detailed oriented and others who were bigger picture oriented. We had members that needed encouragement and others who were very self-confident. All of this together made up the complementary skills needed to make an effective team.

Through the quarter our team worked together to complete assigned tasks and present material to the class. We all had different ways of looking at things and had different strengths and weaknesses. We learned through the quarter how to capitalize on each member’s strengths and thereby mitigating the weaknesses. We met many times during the quarter to form our presentations. We continually kept in contact over emails in the editing of papers and slides for presentations. Each person in the group was assigned equal amounts of real work to do. We were each accountable to the group to provide summaries of papers that the team would edit. We were also individually accountable to present sections of the class material to the class. The team would meet to compile and edit slides that would be presented. We would then practice the presentations. Each member clearly understood that the team would only succeed if each member did their part. We held ourselves mutually accountable for the work we presented.

This is how our team was formed, how we are made up, how we did our work, and how we held ourselves accountable for our success. Through this process we developed a better understanding of each other and found that we really enjoyed working together. We developed a bond and friendship that transcends the individual. This paper describes how team 2 became Team Velocity.


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