Design teams are increasingly multidisciplinary, bringing together people who have different and often contradictory perspectives, values and experiences. This can lead to tension but also offers rich rewards. Effective collaboration across diverse design teams has been linked to increased creativity (Paulus & Nijstad, 2003) and innovative outcomes that leverage multiple disciplinary and personal viewpoints (Alves et al., 2007). To build an effective team, we need to first understand: the capabilities of each team member, how to allocate project roles and responsibilities, and when people might need additional support. The design team cards method helps team members reflect on their own attributes, using a set of predefined ‘roles’ to identify how they might best contribute. By comparing and sharing the completed cards, this method can also support the development of a positive team dynamic and an overall stronger team cohesion.
Continued on pages 60–61 of Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat.