March 06, 2020 - 4 min read ⏱️
What defines a good team? The "Foundations of a Performing Team" is our shared answer to that question, co-created by our people. A shared map towards excellence.
How many times have you heard comments such as ”This team isn’t working well”, ”That team isn’t mature enough”, ”The business is not happy with their results”?
What you should consider when you hear comments like that is:
We’ve experienced similar situations, so we wanted to see if we could remove some subjectivity when looking at the performance of a team.
We (a subset of our Product Owners, Software Engineers, Software Engineers in Test, Site Reliability Engineers, Experience Designers, Architects) gathered together for a workshop and asked ourselves the following question: ”A team delivered a product increment and the iterations that led to it were flawless as well as the delivery and everything that happened afterwards. Everybody noticed the outstanding job, from the CEO to the developers, from SREs to the Product Owners! What behaviours could you have observed over that time?”
Divided into groups we tried to answer the question, we shared the output of our conversations, clustered the answers and refined them. We then derived some Core Values, that we were also able to easily tie to our Company Values.
Once the workshop was over and the outcomes tidied up, we asked our leadership team (Chief Product Officer, Chief Technology Officer and other managers) to have a look at the contents created bottom-up, and they provided valuable input mentioning additional behaviours that they wish to see in the teams.
We called the output of that work “Foundations of a performing team”, and we designed it as a framework for alignment and self-assessment purposes.
It is valid for us, of course it is not a universal framework: is our shared map towards excellence as a team, co-created by our people.
Those are the foundations: performance is built on them.
”If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
In the complex context of Product Development, ”yourself” it is not the place where value for the customer can be created in a sustainable way: you need the team, where a bunch of t-shaped people closely collaborate towards a shared goal.
When we say “Team” we are including every team member: not just Software Engineers, but also the Product Owner, Experience Designers if any, Copywriters if any, Data Analysts…everybody who is actively contributing to achieving the goals of the team is supposed to contribute to the self-assessment.
In the outer circle of the Radar you see the Core Values of a performing team (that are linked to our Company Values in the inner circle), with a brief explanation for each of them.
The Radar is meant for self-assessment purposes:
The Tables are meant to provide examples of observable behaviours for each value (they are not intended as checklists, but as triggers of the conversation).
Please note that what is most important here is not the rating itself, but:
Are we flawless in the way in which we operate, after the introduction of the “Foundations of a performing team”?
Does every team hold such a retrospective twice per year?
Is everybody aligned to it?
Of course not. But it’s ok!
Because now we have a common direction to tend to and a tool that can help us in several ways:
We know that a tool is not a magic wand! The key to success is the mindset and this tool helps us grow the mindset we want.
The postings on this site are authors' opinions and experiences and do not necessarily represent the postings, strategies or opinions of lastminute.com group.