15 - Your Team
We can define a team as a group of individuals collaborating to achieve a common goal. A team is a small social group, which has its very own culture and dynamic.
The team is more than the sum of the individuals who are part of it. By gathering knowledge, skills, views, a team collaborating well will multiply the impact that each individual ever had working alone.
As a team leader, your mission is to foster this collaboration, to support great teamwork, to identify growth opportunities in order to make the team successful.
You’ll have to support the internal collaboration between the team members, as well as the external collaboration with external teams and stakeholders.
A lot of practices can contribute to leveraging and improving the internal team-work.
Having a clear and shared mission is a very powerful way to align the team to a common goal. The common understanding of each other’s contribution to the mission, making these contributions visible consolidates a team spirit, a sense of collective progress and collective achievement.
As in any social group, learning to know each other, establishing trust, and creating solid relationships will take time. As an engineering manager, you can have an influence on the system to encourage collaboration on tasks or projects.
There are plenty of opportunities to work together. By using them, we accelerate the creation of the team and grow its impact and success.
In software architecture, the complexity tends to increase exponentially with the size of the system. We tackle this complexity by slicing the system into highly cohesive components. Each component is decoupled by exposing a clear API, a documented communication contract. Each component now becomes a unit.
In a growing human organization, the highly cohesive and decoupled unit is the team. You have a critical role to play in the communication and orchestration with other units.
Depending on its mission, your team will depend on other teams, or other teams will depend on your team. Knowing and clarifying these dependencies is key to support inter-team collaboration and the success of the organization.
When dealing with teams inter-dependencies, a customer-supplier relationship, and different priorities can create friction and tensions. They can be mitigated by anticipating the blockers, and maintaining a strong communication.
Tying the respective contributions of interdependent teams to a broader goal is an efficient way to re-align everyone. The point is to succeed as an organization.