“Working in Teams: A Practical Guide” MOOC

Just finished Working in Teams: A Practical Guide MOOC on edX,

The goal for this course was to get a deeper insights on what can be better in my current team which I joined several months ago. Another intention was to reflect on my previous team and to see what possibilities I had missed.

The course is not really difficult: 7 sections should be passed in one month. Sections are not very big and it won’t take more than an hour per section even with doing all assignments and reviewing your peers. Due to this fact the course does not seem very deep. I would expect more assignments to be done. From the other side external test resources is a great source of understanding on where your team is now.

Key moments I’ve brought from this course:

  1. There is a more or less well-defined theory on team life-cycle and stages effective team passes through
  2. My current team is somewhere in between norming and performing stages according to the Tuckmans’ stages of group development.
  3. Belbin role model for team members seems fun but frankly speaking seems rather abstract. I didn’t find much value of using it in retrospective for some reason.
  4. High level of self-assertiveness is a must-have for a highly effective team along with a high level of communication. I was already coming to this conclusion myself and it was pleasant to see confirmation for it.
  5. There is a set of defined conflict resolution strategies for a team.
  6. Team leadership is a thing which should be done carefully and mindfully. A pretty good theory behind this one is available.

All of these points brought me to an idea that I could do much better in my previous team. I could definitely affect conflict resolution, assertiveness, motivation, communication and leadership aspects of it. This would probably make my previous team a more pleasant place to work.

However it’s all about experience and learning. I’m impressed by the level of communication and assertiveness in my new team. Hopefully techniques discussed in this MOOC will help me in making new team even more effective. This course is definitely well-worth studying so that you can make 8-9 hours you spend each weekday with your team a good and effective investment.

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