A Rallying Call

Peter Bird
Peter Bird | 28 February 2017

Everyone and no one a specialist

A previous blog post talked about building trust and it brought to mind the challenges of working in teams consisting of people having very different skills.

If you were planning to climb a mountain or complete an expedition then, you’d think, perhaps you need a team of mountain climbers or hardened adventurers? But within this team you don’t just need one or two people who have the endurance for adventure or ability to climb a mountain. You need a fit team able to stand the pace and overcome the challenges; and if it’s a really tough pace, or difficult challenge, then maybe you wouldn’t take the sponsor along?

Well, it’s a bit like this and it isn’t like this on an Agile project. Team members, though some may be mountain goats, are not all [metaphorically] mountain climbers; they are all special though. You’d also be hoping you do have the sponsor along, and be better for it: a product owner any way. One special person who knows the ‘ropes’ to guide the way.

So staffed, it’s still going to be a difficult trek to the summit, but a hopeful trek full of reward if you all stick together.

The challenge is recognising that everyone and no one is special. The team won’t make the top if someone lets go of the rope but it isn’t the rope that’s important: the rope is a symbol of the cohesion and mainstay of endurance that enables the team to deliver value and gain from a sense of shared achievement. Everyone gets to the top!