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High Performance Teams

high-performance-teams.pngThere are many factors that make up an IT project. For one, you need people of the right skill set to analyze and build your application. You need an appropriate methodology that your people will follow to complete the project. You want the latest and greatest technology to make sure you are staying ahead of the technology curve. You need the appropriate time, budget, functionality, etc. in order to meet your project vision. While all of this will certainly be needed to complete your project, these won’t ensure that your project will be successful. The main factor that determines the success of your next IT project is great teamwork.

Now, you can’t just put any group of people together and expect results. In addition to getting the people of the right skill set, you need people that have worked together for some time and have performed well together. In 1965, Bruce Tuckman popularized the concept that there are four stages of group development: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Most of us have heard of this, yet few of us realize its true value in project implementations. As a quick refresher, you can check here for the definition of each stage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckman's_stages_of_group_development.

For your next project, you want a team that has been together for some time and has a proven track record of successful project implementations. It is easy to recognize the team that has been in the performing stage (as defined by Tuckman) for some time. That is the team that is leading your product team to not only define your application requirements, but also communicate them back to you to ensure that your vision has been captured before a line of code has been written. It’s the team that performs the necessary application technology stack checks and architectural design before they write the application for your environment. For example, they ensure that the necessary database naming conventions are being met, client 3rd party tools are taken into account and coding standards are being followed. It’s the team that works well with your business executives to provide timely and meaningful status reporting. It’s the team that not only keeps tracks of the latest issues that have crept up in your project, but also provides actionable measures to correct those issues. Lastly, it’s the team that views the business as a partner not a client.

There are really two ways to obtain these types of teams. You can grow them from within your organization or find a company with a successful track record of project implementations. In either case, once you have a high performing team on your project, you are on the road to success.

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