When my staff decided to tackle a chronological book for the first time, we knew we needed to rethink our staff organization. While we moved to a team approach out of necessity, the results were so positive we now can’t imagine doing a book any other way.
two team members took pictures at the dress rehearsal and a different team member attended each of the four performances. Comprehensive coverage like this rarely occurred when we assigned spreads to just one staffer — thanks to the team approach, it’s become the norm.
The biggest change when moving to the team approach is that instead of assigning one spread to one staffer, each spread is assigned to a team. Since several staffers work together to brainstorm coverage ideas, conduct interviews, write copy and captions, take pictures and design, the spread shouldn’t just be good — it should be amazing! Everyone on the team proofreads before the spread ever goes to the copy editor or EIC, allowing us to catch problems early.
An important part of implementing the team approach is having strong team leaders. Team leaders know at all times the progress that is being made and work with EICs to troubleshoot problems. They were also responsible for leading brainstorming sessions and delegating jobs.
Teams are a powerful motivating force for staffers. Since no one can be considered “done” until all of the spreads assigned to their team are complete, there is significant positive peer pressure for everyone to pull their weight. In addition, yearbook sales contests, deadline awards for the first team finished and a spirited Yearbook Olympics competition between teams allows team members a chance to work together and have some fun along the way.
We now can’t imagine doing a book any other way.”
Our coverage of events has improved dramatically with the team approach. For example, in covering the spring musical one member of a team covered auditions, several team members attended rehearsals,
january (cont.) VOLUME 15
march Y e a r b o o k DISCOVERIES
DISCOVERIES VOL15 ISSUE 1