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The advantages of being a team of one
2010-12-13

For many UX professionals, it's a nightmare to work alone. They feel isolated and are desperately seeking company and exchange. While lots of benefits usually come in mind when thinking about team work, I'd like to take a look at the positive effects of being one team in one physical person.

Distinctively Red

Less meetings

I tend to reduce meetings to a minimum since I believe most of them are wasting my time. I have nothing against a good brainstorming session or a longer project kick-off gathering. (Preparation, moderation, and documentation are keys to a productive meeting and should be provided.) Sitting numbly in a poorly aired room with 9 other people, everyone knowing the others are bored except for the two who are vividly fighting over the choice of a button instead of a link, is definitely not efficient. The reflection process occurs quicker when you're arguing with yourself – hopefully. In most cases you will be able to make a decision at the end, enabling you to go on with the next step.

Less communication

Since you are both the sender and the receiver of the information you communicate, the loss of information on the way from your brain to your colleague's brain is minimized. Explaining complex ideas occurs rather seamlessly inside your own head. Although you may need to write down things for yourself to understand them better, you're still lucky you don't have to make them fit into your co-workers vision of the world.

More standards

No-one messes up your files! ;) It also means you can establish standards, templates and whatsoever you need for your daily work, without having to share, discuss or justify every change. You manage your team's image in the broadest sense. You're in control of your efforts towards your goals. (Already been caugh singing "I did it my way..."?)

No personnel management

You don't have to decide about your subordinates; you won't curse your team leader twice a day. You have responsibility for only one person, and fortunately, it's you! You will gain time while not bothering about organizing personnel meetings, and you'll be able to reduce friction between your team member(s).

More ownership

Everything that comes out of your team is produced by you. You are the one who's responsible for what you deliver – good or bad. I believe that in this case empowerment helps building a notion of responsibility, thus strengthening the will to become better. Endorsing responsibility leads you to improve yourself; embrace it!

Further readings

Would you like to become a team of one? Why, or why not?


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