Have you ever had the sensation that your team can’t agree on anything. Is this normal or a bad thing? Does a better product come from friction between members collaborating? I read an old article a while back that I didn’t particularly agree with, but it had a useful thing or two about the stages a work team should go through. It went along the lines of forming, storming, norming and performing. But let’s face it; most teams never leave the forming stage. Here are a few reasons why.
- Most people have built their careers on being the expert. They don’t take kindly to being challenged on their knowledge and in most corporate hierarchy’s, the biggest title doesn’t get challenged… We all know why.
- Shifting from:” I say Jump, they say how high.” to working together is quite the paradigm shift for management and usually makes it appear like the only thing we do is talk. Although this may seem to be the case, it is only a sign that you are spending more time up front deciding on and building something that will work. (We at planbox would know, we just had a 45 minutes discussion on a default setting.) However it can now be implemented in 30 minutes or less and will likely never have to be re worked or spoken of again. The debate is over.
- Conflicting priorities will happen; turf wars aren’t bad if you know how to handle them effectively. You have to be able to debate and sometimes from an objective standpoint.
Ever left a meeting and everything went well, everyone agreed? Can that be called collaboration? Or is it just a fancy way of saying ”weekly group hug meeting”.
Going from the forming stage (the honeymoon where people get to know each other and are on their best behavior) to having a team that is not afraid to have the hard conversations with each other. Depends on people moving away from their non-confrontational nature and not fearing managerial ramification, being labeled not a team player or my personal favorite is when a team member is said to be negative because he points out the things that don’t work and how they could be improved.
If your planning to undertaking a dramatic change in your processes such as implementing agile methodologies or just a new way to get things done. Heed this advice, a temporary third party member to your team such as a scrum master will provide invaluable insight and traction to this transition. They are recognized by your team as being experts in the related field. They are sheltered from long term career ramifications that might stem from confrontation and they are zero gravity thinkers and don’t have long standing relationships that may suffer from the turf wars mentioned above.Randy