Traits of Your Dream Team, Part II

Posted on May 17, 2010


See previous post “Traits of Your Dream Team, Part I

What makes a Dream Team?

A Dream Team is a project team composed of members that share the same vision for a project.  Not all projects can have a Dream Team, but we hope and try.  They are people you might hire for your organization because they seem to match your values, have similar processes, and work well with you. 

The following attributes apply to architects seeking clients, clients seeking consultants, builders seeking subcontractors, engineers seeking engineers, developers seeking design-builders—pretty much any situation where one organization wants to team with another to get a job done. The key here is compatibility.  Do you recognize a client, colleague, or yourself (or how you aspire to perform) in any of these comments?

Compatibility Areas

  • Project Management Traits   (see previous post)
  • Design Sophistication   (see previous post)
  • Communication Instincts
  • Business Sense
  • Overall Character

Communication Instincts

  • Hands-on with open communication; lets you know where you stand.
  • Accessible; you can walk in at any time.
  • Responds immediately to information requests.
  • Reviews typically conducted in single, daylong meetings.
  • Focused: once consensus is achieved, everyone is on board.
  • Is responsive to questions; answers are rarely changed—no second guessing.
  • Does not revisit decisions that have been made without good reason.
  • Listens to everyone’s ideas.
  • Inclusive: All employees had opportunity for say in project. Everyone participated in information-gathering and design workshops.
  • Gives recognition for a job well done; generous with compliments
  • Brings a sense of humor to each project team.
  • Willing to challenge design or construction opinions without being confrontational. 

Business Sense

  • Able to assemble necessary funding.
  • Consistently pays bills promptly.
  • Willing to negotiate reasonable fees commensurate with requested services.
  • Willing to pay for additional services.
  • Maintains strong, loyal business relationships with business partners.
  • Offers steady work.
  • Refers our firm to other institutions; gives recommendations.
  • Treats project team as a partner, not merely as a vendor or consultant.
  • Pushes to hire younger, smaller teams for highly visible public work
  • Collaborates with project team on other office-related initiatives outside of own project.
  • Reviews and provides input and criticism, from a client’s perspective, of some of design team’s proposals for new clients and projects.
  • Involves the building team in organization functions, such as grand opening.
  • Recognition: staff members have complimented team at public events.
  • Hosts community events with us.

Overall Character

  • Exhibits professionalism and commitment to be the best.
  • Conducts affairs with a high level of integrity.
  • Builds a friendship on mutual respect, appreciation, courtesy, integrity, and honor.
  • Design and construction team is made to feel part of the client’s family
  • Educates everyone about the organization, its mission, and its goals.
  • Treats everyone on the team with respect, from our most senior to our junior and administrative staff.
  • Demonstrates a consistent commitment to core values in all decisions.
  • Knowledgeable: heads of the organization hold terminal degrees in their fields
  • Respects team’s professional judgment, and pay for it.
  • Constantly pushes for improvement
  • Fair dealer
  • Respects our time.
  • Will occasionally review documents in our office to save us a trip.
  • Shares office and conference space with us.
  • Demanding while gracious.
  • Consistently honest and fair.