Don't hire super heros
Sure, super heros are powerful. They have strengths and abilities that regular humans don’t possess. They can always be counted on to save the day and they wear cool suits! But…
Have you considered the damage a super hero can do to your team, to your department, and sometime to your organization?
Over the years, I have had the opportunity (?) to work with super heros. Every time, the initial reaction is always the same – wow, this individual is amazing! Eventually, after I analyze the accomplishments, look at the situation and the impact on others around the super hero I am less than impressed. Here’s why:
- Having a super hero hides the real underlying problems because the super hero will always save the day – no matter what caused the situation to start with. Unless you have a retrospective or a post-mortem following the resolution of the problem, you will not be able to assess if the problem is likely to happen again in the future;
- A super hero causes resentment within a team since he is typically the one rewarded for the efforts. In addition, a super hero loves the spotlight and will seldom share it with other people who helped resolve the crisis;
- A super hero thrives on solving problems and some have been known to spark an explosive situation so they can jump in later on to resolve it.
Everything is not lost if you have a super hero on your team. Next time he saves the day, simply thank him for his action and then reward the individual who suggests and implements a way to prevent the situation moving forward.
Your organization has invested large sums in the development of a Business Intelligence (BI) program. The project team followed an innovative approach by combining SCRUM as their project management methodology with AGILE software development practices including some advanced software engineering techniques such as test-driven development (TDD), re factoring and continuous integration. The project was delivered on time and within schedule. The team is happy, the Scrum Master is delighted and the Product Owner (PO) invited the whole team for a memorable dinner. Everything went perfectly …
Actually, no. Probably not! Besides the PO are all the users aware of your project?
I would like to offer some communication strategies that could possibly help your project success rate.
- Ask the users participating in the project to spread the good news by infecting other members of their department relative to the benefits of the new application.
- Provide frequent demonstrations of your new BI application to a broad audience to demonstrate the usability of the application and the benefits of the new tool.
- Run an internal advertising campaign with visual media (brochures, posters, mugs, etc.). The aim is to generate curiosity with relation to the new application.
- Conduct formal and structured presentations to teams and individuals impacted by the new application to answer their questions.
- Use the project sponsor or the PO to disseminate the information about the project and to demonstrate the value of the new application.
In summary, use the project team members to communicate frequently and to as many people as possible. Be enthusiastic and repeat the process.
I must admit, that the list of communication strategies is not exhaustive but this was not my goal. Communication strategies will vary depending on the organizational context. Strategies that have worked well in one organization may not be applicable to another. My objective was simply to remind the project team to plan and execute their communication strategy as soon as possible. The lack of communication may not only delay the adoption of the new BI application but in the worst cases this could lead to the potential rejection of the new solution.
A good communication strategy will increase the chances of success of your new business intelligence application.