Have you ever been part of a great team? Or worked with one? I’m ending an assignment at Projectplace, where I’ve been working with team “SNAP”. SNAP is a great team! As I move on to other challenges I’ve been thinking about what makes a team great.
This is what makes SNAP great:
Tight knit, team loyalty
One of my favorite team rituals is called Late Night with SNAP. A couple of times a month we work a shifted day. We come in around lunch and stay until 8-9pm. We have the office to ourselves in the evening: a meeting free, distraction free time for the team to be together. We also have a unique team identity and personality. We can overcome our own challenges without external intervention.
Design, usability, back end, front end and test. All the skills we need are on the team. We do not always have all the expertise necessary in the team, but other teams are available to help us out, allowing us the opportunity to also become experts.
Quality in focus
We have great freedom in deciding when we are “done” with a story. As a team we strive to test the functionality, pair program and participate in code reviews. Several people are usually involved with refining, designing and implementing each functional requirement which means that more than one set of eyes looks at the code and tests the finished result. To make things even more fun, we use our own product! We primarily developed an “agile boards” functionality, and we use our own boards to track our sprints and work.
Since the team itself is really good, it only needs a supportive organization to make it great. We were given clear goals for the year that are simple and measurable. We were also given the freedom to work towards achieving them. Functional requirements are not forced on the team, instead we have a dialogue. We talk to customers, to support, to stakeholders, to marketing, and to all the other people in the organization who are using our product. We iterate a design throughout the sprint based on early testing. We have communities for people interested in front end, or back end, or continuous delivery. We have the support and feedback of the whole organization.
It’s pretty rare to find this type of team/organisation combination. I’m going to miss working at Projectplace, and I’m really going to miss working with SNAP! You guys are great 🙂