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Subject:RE: "Team Player" - Please Define? From:"Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Tue, 1 Feb 100 10:57:57 -0500
"Team Player" has turned into a mirror that reflects every poster's personal negative experience. It needn't be that way.
In product development organizations (to start bringing this back to a topic relevant to tech writing), projects are executed by teams. A team may consist of several individuals who report to different departments. For example, one member of a product development team may be a tech writer who reports to a documentation manager.
Stay with me a minute here.
The hypothetical documentation manager in this example is responsible for the writer's career path, training, etc., and probably is responsible for maintaining some sort of consistency across the company in terms of media and tools used, style, document design, and so forth. The manager _assigns_ the writer to a project team so that the writer can work with product developers, marketers, and others to generate documentation for the product being developed.
In this context, a team player is someone who is capable of working with a cross-functional team, answering to a project manager for deadlines and accuracy while representing his or her own department manager in terms of following company guidelines. Some people can do this. Others find it uncomfortable and rebel against it with various sorts of misbehavior. The former are team players; the latter are not.
Let's get the HR spin out of the discussion. HR people use words all the time that they don't know the meaning of. So why should we allot any credibility to their misuse of this one?