4 Ways to Build Dynamic Teams
Meet Suna Sibi, one of ASG’s technical project managers, whose talent helps satisfy ASG clients and inspire the team she leads. “Suna’s perceptions are always on target,” said Onna Koeneman, ASG quality risk manager and co-owner. “That’s why she makes great decisions.”
Here are four of Suna’s secrets for building an engaged and innovative team.
1. Begin with fundamentals.
“The team needs soft talents like critical thinking and effective communication,” Suna said. People prefer to hear things in different ways. Plus, it’s important for team members to have a thorough understanding of research analysis so challenges can be adequately broken down. “Both ideas are fundamentals that you learn in school, but they become crucial to hone and perfect in the business,” she said. “They’ve consistently helped us succeed in serving our clients.”
2. Create cross-functional teams.
“Our team members have a diverse array of skill sets, from technical project management to specialized disciplines like cost controls, mechanical engineering, electrical/ software engineering, systems engineering and analytical research,” Suna said. “Some of our backgrounds cross into other areas, so our roles aren’t as siloed as they might be in other company settings.”
Suna doesn’t make all the decisions as team lead; she works with the team to connect the dots. “I help them understand the big picture and weigh their options in light of risks to the end user,” she said. “As a result, our teams are cross-functional and receptive to adjusting their strategy when something doesn’t seem to be working.”
3. Understand your team and timelines.
If a project is a priority and the team needs to overcome an obstacle right away, a clear timeline becomes really important, Suna said. “It helps to see why we aren’t reaching our milestones. In the area of test failure, key tools from risk management and root cause analysis are crucial as well.”
If a challenge is a matter of people, Suna uses a tool called DISC, which breaks down the types of work behavior and gives guidance on how to handle team members from two standpoints: ensuring they can do the work and how to talk to them if they’re feeling stressed.
4. Prime the pump with good questions.
“Building a strong team is as simple as asking questions,” Suna said. “The trick lies in knowing what type of questions to ask. My favorite technique is to ask questions that plant seeds for other ideas. It’s incredibly useful because many folks, especially the newer, less experienced individuals, sometimes withhold their insights when they aren’t certain what value they can add.”
Suna said she leaves the details to the team, but makes sure there’s both an end in mind and a vision we can communicate to stakeholders. “When a project is in progress, I map out the different workflows as well as various scenarios and sample testing within those workflows,” Suna said.
Inspired by Suna’s approach? Interested in a career at ASG? Visit our Careers page to learn more.