: Magesh Gangadharan
Director of Software – Game Development
If you are given a chance to pick your own team
then ensure that you form the best team.
You need great people to accomplish great things.
Hire someone who is a cultural fit. Skills can be
taught but not attitude.
Hire someone with tremendous energy . You can
spot them right on. (obviously he needs to have the
skills what you are looking for).
Pick some one with “Can do” “Will do” attitude and
someone who is willing to learn new things in the
process of getting it done.
◦ Get to know your team and their interests
(hobbies , sports etc.).
◦ Get to know what a person is good at (skills) and
not good at.
◦ Motivation factors vary between team members.
Find out what motivates each member in your
o Crystal Clear Vision – Give the team a clear understanding of what is
being asked in one or two simple sentences.
o Context – Explain to the team where the program fits into the overall
organization’s direction .
o Tell them why we are doing this and what needs to be achieved.
o Let the team figure out how they are going to get there.
o Give an opportunity for the team to ask questions and clarify their
o Wrap up the meeting by asking who are interested in this journey
(project) and willing to commit themselves with you in this journey
(project) . Only involve people who are genuinely interested and
motivated to work in this project.
o The outcome of this meeting is suppose to evoke the fire within each
team member and get them all excited and charged to work on this
Purpose – Problem to be Solved ?
Tell the team what needs to be accomplished
and what are the constraints imposed ?
Articulate the purpose clearly Not like
“Improving the efficiency of the system” but
something like “Increasing the efficiency from
handling 1000 transactions per minute (TPM)
to 50,000 TPM” .
o As a leader dig more and understand what are
the limitations / restraints that apply to the
o Promote those limitations / restraints as
challenges / obstacles that the team has to
overcome to taste success.
o Let the team know that as a lead its your job to
work with the team in pro-actively removing the
obstacles that come their way.
o Everyone in the team needs to have a clear view of
what his role and responsibilities are.
o Every team member should have clarity on
- What his deliverables (user stories) are ? and
- By when (sprint duration) – date ?
o Its also important that everyone understands the roles
and responsibilities of other members within the team
o Transparency in communication – Good or Bad the
information has to be candid and openly
communicated within the team.
o Its always better to over-communicate rather
assuming everyone knows.
o Promote an environment where people can voice
concerns or issues without any hesitation.
Define Success – Clearly articulate what success
means for your project.
Set high standards for performance
o Both Decision making and Conflicts (both internal and
external) need to be resolved ASAP. Delaying them will
cause more damage.
o In the process of decision making get the right people
involved to brainstorm.
o With available information take a decision early and if it
turns out to be wrong you still would have time to correct
o Never delay taking decisions. Wrong decisions are better
than taking no action. Effort taken will be worth the time
spent. This will be of use later in some other project.
o External conflict – Conflicts that arise with other
organization’s need to be dealt with in an amicable manner
on a regular basis .
Define Milestones for the overall program and
for each member and track them against
Milestone deliverables should be something
demonstrable / showable and not just asking
the member if he has met this milestone or
not and crossing a checklist.
Meeting milestones gives visibility and
promotes team’s morale.
Go looking for problems and do Not wait for
them to come to you.
Walk around - Talk with your Team
/managers / leads / testers / sales / Product
management and sniff for issues / changes /
problems and deal with them ASAP.
In a true agile environment the asks
/requirements / issues keep changing all the
time , so be open to change . Revisit your
plan often and see what needs to be changed
and communicate to all the stakeholders and
team of the change.
Primary job of the leader is to remove all the
obstacles that come in the way as the team
Be an Enabler and the team will get the job
Team needs to be constantly motivated .
Prompt candid feedback goes a long way.
Challenge team’s assumptions in a
constructive way to bring out useful
Maintain right ethics all the time.
The leader should provide ample freedom,
opportunity that enables growth of his team
Your team members should know that you care.
As a leader integrity matters a lot – Never say one
thing and do something else.
Perseverance – In terms of crisis you be there for
the team supporting them.
Leader should provide the team with liberty to take
risks and try new things without being worried
about failing and repercussions that follow.
People feeling Included , Trusted , Valued and
Communicate ! Communicate ! Communicate !
One of the primary reasons for great teams failing is often
contributed to insufficient communication.
As a leader you have to discuss/validate with the team on
your assumptions of what’s going on in the team / issues
/status / dates / change requests / risks in regular
Promote an environment where people are NOT
reluctant/hesitant to challenge / ask questions / bring out
concerns to any one within the team or outside the team.
Both internal and external communication are vital for the
success of a program.
Encourage our teams to communicate excessively and not
worry about redundant information.
In case of doubt or lack in clarity suggest the team
member to sort the issue first before assuming anything.
Only results matter hence the team has to
Ensure ongoing delivery of results by meeting