University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Effectively Managing Technical Teams See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Many technical experts find themselves managing a team, not because of their advanced leadership skills but due to their technical expertise. Mastery of management skills and inspirational people leadership is required to get a group of people to become a high-performing team, delivering outstanding business results. This course will give you tips and techniques to help you manage both onsite and hybrid teams.

In this course, you will learn to:

  • Set a vision for your team with buy-in and commitment to the goals
  • Define and evaluate measures and targets that matter
  • Execute well through well-designed operational controls, reporting, and ground-rules
  • Balance team controls and team autonomy to foster innovation and growth
  • Understand the dynamics of setting up and running teams
  • Adapt your leadership style through the team development stages
  • Understand the role of motivation in creating high-performance teams
  • Radically improve time management by focussing on priority issues
  • Learn to deal with interruptions and crisis management
  • Get the most out of team meetings
  • Develop and grow your team’s leadership skills

Who Should Attend?

This course will benefit anyone whose work output is dependent on other people:

  • Newly appointed managers or team leaders directing technical professionals.
  • Experienced managers, who are looking for ways to be more effective and efficient.
  • Engineers and other technical professionals aspiring to management and leadership positions.

Additional Information

This course is part of the Technical Leadership Certificate. Course may be taken individually as well.

Course Outline

Introduction to Managing and Leading technical teams

  • Understand the role of a team leader
  • Discern a leadership mindset and how to develop it in team members
  • Combine the right balance between the best of traditional management techniques and the new paradigm of inverted pyramid leadership of knowledge workers

Operational Processes

  • Setting meaningful goals in a dynamic and innovative environment
  • Discover the power of sharing ‘the why’
  • Define and evaluate measures and targets that matter
  • Understand the importance of distinguishing between joint ownership and shared ownership
  • Creating a team plan with meaningful objectives and measures

Establishing teams and the transition to empowerment 

  • Discovering the real meaning of a team
  • Dealing with virtual and remote teams
  • Understand the dynamics of setting up a new team
  • Dealing with changes in team composition

Motivating teams for high performance

  • Understanding what drives technical people and team dynamics to get the best out of them
  • Handling top performers
  • Dealing with poor performers
  • Staff retention

Operational Efficiency

  • Getting things done
  • Getting the team organized for success
  • Running meetings effectively using the PPPP method
  • Specifying meaningful, efficient, and necessary reporting methods
  • Radical time-management demonstrated with real-world inbox exercise

How to communicate effectively with your team

  • Understanding ourselves to understand the root cause of miscommunication
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of poor communication using email
  • Helping your team improve communication skills

Career development of a team leader

  • Understanding what skills to develop as a team leader
  • Career development tips


"Great use of real world experiences… Would highly recommend."
—Robert Kolar, DuPage County, Illinois DOT

"The best management course I’ve attended. Materials and examples were excellent."
—Martin Beranek, MSA Professional Services, Inc.


Trevor Manning

Trevor Manning is an accomplished author, leaderhsip consultant, and trainer with extensive international experience leading technical teams. He has held roles such as chief engineer, technical director, Chief Operating Officer, and board advisor.

With a diverse background spanning various companites including a large government-owned utility, a US-headquartered manufacturer, an international London headquartered start-up, and a privately owned telecommunications operator, Trevor offers valuable insights into real-world business operations.

Trevor leads three training courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on practical insights derived from his wealth of experience.

Effectively Managing Technical Teams

Leadership Beyond Your Team: Managing Up and Across

Critical Conversations: Results-based Communication

Trevor has published several technical and leadership books and lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Upcoming dates