Teams and Commitments

November 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

I hear this question often:

  • We are working as a team but we seem to be always rushed
  • We can’t seem to reap the benefits we thought we would get out of regular cadence on delivery.

Some of the questions I ask when I hear this are:

  1. Is the team committed and are the commitments made by the entire team?
  2. Are the teams small teams?
  3. Are these truly cross functional teams or are these just your old organizational structure which is silos in the form of teams handing off work from one team to the other?
  4. Is there mutual respect amongst the team members?
  5. When you find you are rushed have the teams realized that maybe they are overcommitting or are getting bogged down due to hand-offs?

And when the team does fail how does the organization react. Here are some of the questions to ask when the commitments are not met:

  1. Are tasks assigned within the team or do the members pick their own work?
  2. Is the expectation that the team will always have to meet commitments and if they don’t there is an attempt to find someone to blame?
  3. Are their partial credits given out and who gets them?
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