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Feature: 'Building a Great Team: Communication'

Feature: 'Building a Great Team: Communication' Exclusive

September 17, 2008 | By Staff

September 17, 2008 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Exclusive

When you've hired a great game development team, how do you get them to work together efficiently? Game HR veteran Mencher has a plethora of pointers in this in-depth Gamasutra article.

One can learn a lot about team communication from MMORPGs, particularly from World of Warcraft's guild system, which requires constant communication between members to achieve the group's in-game goals:

"Using this social dynamic, players need to act communally to achieve their goals and enhance game play. The key to a successful guild is figuring out how to get the most contribution from each individual and encouraging them to be an active and vocal participant.

The only way for a team member to be successful is to learn to relate and adapt to other players within the guild and work effectively as a team. That is not to say that everyone who plays WoW heeds this advice (or needs to if they prefer to play solo).

Some players are successful taking the lone wolf approach, but to experience what high end content the MMO has to offer, a player needs to build and/or participate in building an effective guild (team); that starts with good communication."

Team leaders can also take lessons about networking from MMORPGs and their guilds, as they encourage users to expand their network of in-game friends and allies so that they have a variety of people to call on from their friends list when they need them.

"In the workplace environment, certain people (senior management and/or your client) have considerable influence over your team. Make full use of formal and informal connections inside and outside your organization to provide valuable support. Teams can always use "friends in high places". Identify these people and seek their support and approval, preferably without sacrificing the integrity of team or the project.

A team sponsor is usually a well-placed, well-disposed individual who works outside your team. Team life is much tougher without these mentors, they offer guidance, help find creative solutions to problems as well as keep you on track so cultivate any relationships that may be useful.

A basic network can include a decision maker (maybe an executive or member of senior management), a liaison who may have the ear of senior managers (this might be you) and an approver, usually an individual whose official consent is required for key decision and milestone completion. Work the network in and out of the organization to find the support your team needs to be successful."

You can now read the full feature on managing a team to work and communicate effectively, which also offers advice on team meetings and conflict resolution in addition to more MMO analogies (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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