SIGUCCS 2018 Conference Takeaway – The “I” in Team

The “I” in Team: How developing individual strength builds a great team

Presented by: Tom Wilk (Carnegie Mellon University)
Tom Wilk

Managers face three types of employees on their teams: struggler, “average Joe”, and rock star. Each type requires a different management strategy. Managers need to set SMART goals and document progress as part of performance management (don’t just tell them to do better). Tom uses 1-1 meetings with agendas, performance appraisals, coaching, shared documents, and other tools to assist him in building a team.

We discussed special needs of each of the three types of employees. For example, the struggler can be struggling for one of three reasons; lack of skill, lack of will, or personal issues. You need to identify which one and focus on how to address it specifically. Another example is to not let your rockstar get burned out and do not just give them the work that your strugglers are not getting done. Pay special attention to your “average Joe” as he/she can rise to the top if given a new or special project.

Tom left us with three key factors to build a great team: Trust, Clarity, and Transparency.

Read the paper on the ACM Digital Library

Review the slides on Sched


Tom’s Trello screen with the following categories: inbox, employee’s items, projects, career development, and his own items – with cards under each for items to discuss during 1-1 sessions with his staff. He creates a similar item for each employee to keep track of things throughout the year for performance appraisals. – Kathy Fletcher

See an example at : or