Regardless of the software or hardware development processes used in your business domain, chances are if you are worried about your teams’ performance levels, their ability to write code or build hardware solutions is not your concern.
How do you build teams which are truly high-performing?
Teams which are able to work together toward levels of truly high-performance remain relatively elusive and seldom in most industries. Regardless of which frameworks, methodologies, and tools teams adopt and adapt, their productivity remains relatively average. This hurts the bottom line of the business, which has often agreed to accept certain restrictions on current productivity on the promise of significantly increased productivity once the new methodology or framework is in place and humming.
Sound familiar? This is a situation in which the application of multiple solutions entirely fails to address the actual problem.
Teams do not form around processes, methodologies, and frameworks; they form around the members of the team. Or, more specifically, they form around the social, non-technical interactions of the individuals within the team. When a team fails to effectively bond together, several problems are typically the root:
The level of empathy at the team level is relatively low
The number, type, and quality of social interactions is low
There is low to no feedback within the group
Despite what you may believe, social skills are highly trainable and can be learned. Teams can build their social, non-technical skills in order to team together more effectively and achieve those levels of high-performance.
Moreover, leadership can directly enable these teaming activities by learning about how high-performing teams function and what they can do to enable those teams to coalesce and perform. The secret to leading highly-performing teams is that it actually isn’t that hard – but it does take a level of discipline and rigor which many leaders find exceptionally challenging.
Chris Alexander is a former Navy Lieutenant Commander, F-14 Tomcat RIO, software developer, Agile Coach, and Executive Team Member at AGLX Consulting, LLC.