Team Management or Who's Got the Power to Solve the Relational Issues?
April 28th, 2015
During our work, we often have to answer the question about the project's time limitations and duration. There are times when those preliminary estimates turn out to be incorrect for various reasons and the delays become a normal and accepted fact ("We were told about this feature only when we started working on the project and, therefore, the estimate has suffered because of it," as an example.) If you ever did a complete remodeling of your home - you can calculate the budget and multiply it by two, only then you have a chance to fit into the "updated" resources account. However, there is always a desire to be able to make correct estimates and minimize the errors.
Whenever this issue arises, the best way is to try one's best to figure out the solution right away before the issue becomes a serious problem. So the management is attempting to "think outside the box," talks with the employees, discusses the possible causes and makes decisions to eliminate these risks in the future. Everything is nice and well... until a week or two later, the situation repeats.
The truth is that no manager would be able to fix the problem from the "outside" better than the team itself when every member of the team participates in making the decision.
We decided to visualize it with an old children's game called "Tangled." The team stands in the circle, holding hands, and a "Manager" is chosen who is outside of the circle. "Manager" looks away and the team has a task to tangle themselves as much as they can, without letting go of the neighbors' hands. The "Manager's" role is then to untangle them all back into the original circle in one minute. After this part of the game is done, the team tangles and has to untangle itself, without the help of a "Manager."
Which way was faster and more efficient?
We decided not to guess and tried it in real life.
In the first episode, the "Manager" could not do it in under one minute. He only got halfway in. The second part? The team untangled itself in under 20 seconds.
Make your own conclusions and experiment. We believe, however, that no one but the team itself cannot make the team efficient. After all, this is one of the main principles of agile teams: self-organization. The realization of personal responsibility is required, not just relying on someone else above to figure out all things.
Also, we often seek who's fault it is, but it is important to show initiative and personal responsibility.
This is how a strong and harmonious team is formed.