Congratulations, you have finally delivered the project! The team you have carefully assembled over many months can now be dismantled and people can go back to their normal job. That’s the natural sequence in the project management world – project is kicked-off, team is assembled, team develops solution, team encounters delays, team tests solution, team moves solution into production, team hands-off solution to maintenance team, project team is dismantled, and life goes back to normal.
I wonder if the Green Bay Packers will do the same now that they have won SuperBowl XLV or maybe the San Fransisco Giants may want to start their 2011 season with new players after winning the 2010 World Series. At least the F.C. Internazionale Milano should want to give it a fresh start after winning the Serie A championship, wouldn’t you think?
Nobody would consider breaking up a highly performing sport team but when it comes to software development, it is common for organizations and departments to split up team members and start new with their next project.
From a purely practical perspective, breaking up a performing team makes no sense considering the time invested in:
- carefully selecting and recruiting the right people with the right skill sets and the right attitude,
- hiring external consultants with specific skills to complement the existing team,
- getting the team to work together despite the team members’ personalities, work methods and obvious looming conflicts,
- training people on the organizational culture and business activities,
- establishing a leadership style that will work well with the team’s expectations,
- eliminating the bad hires,
- building relationships with the team members and between the project team members themselves,
Team members need time to become highly performing. Why not keep those team members together after the completion of their project and assign them together to the next project – even if the skill sets doesn’t seem to be perfect at first glance?
Wondering what are the benefits of an Agile Transition. One of our client recently published a few good points:
- Scrum exposes and makes visible the organizational issues in project delivery, which are not necessarily exclusive to agility (non-dedicated projects resources, difficulty of co-locating project members, etc.);
- Positive impact on the role of the managers by moving from a command-and-control mode to coach-leader mode;
- Not just doing things right but doing the right things;
- Increased mobilization of project participants;
- Better team synergy – increased synergy between Business and IT;
- Puts the business needs at the center of the project team’s focus – business needs understood and shared by the team members;
- Brings back the “common sense” in carrying out the project;
- Better communication and transparency within teams;
- Better visibility on the business value generated by the project;
- Optimization of the investment;
- Ability to “test” the feasibility before fully developing the solution.
These are only a handful of benefits. What benefits have your team witnessed since starting Scrum?
With the hockey season well on its way and the Canadiens doing well so far, an interesting question popped in my head – is the winning team, the one with the best players? You can guess I am less interested in hockey than I am with business teams when that question appeared.
As a manager or a leader, isn’t our job to find the best players for our project or our organization? If we don’t have the best players, aren’t we doomed to fail?
With that question in mind, I did a not-so-scientific exercice. I looked at the winning teams in the last 5 years and determined if there was a correlation between the best player (in this case, the best offensive player) and the winning team. Much to my surprise, in the last five years, only in 2008-2009 did the best offensive player(s) win the much coveted Stanley Cup when Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby played with the winning team (Pittsburgh Penguins).
Much in line with a post I wrote last year, it makes more sense to focus on creating a highly performant team than to hire on “the best” individual contributors. The same seems to be true in hockey as it is in a business setting. Wouldn’t you agre?