Putting Wind in Team's Sails ⛵

Sep 10, 2021 7:01 pm

Happy Friday,

I've found there are a few topics that many clients of mine that will create a fervent agreement to until the moment I suggest doing the work involved. One such topic is aligning teams to strategic or organizational goals.

Most of the time the goals aren't well-formed yet.

Now, I tend to focus on teams primarily so my insistence on teams that are aligned to goals is first about the team's overall performance and long-term value.

Imagine a team without a sense of goals to provide direction. They're looking at the codebase that they've been building for the past few years and they're debating a decision around rewriting parts of it or not. If they could see a connection to a new version to accomplishing a goal, they'd have a better reason to do it. Without it, they only have conceptual technical merit. Yet, a rewrite of a larger component or module might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

That is a large example, but it influences micro-decisions as well as options to accomplish the backlog, where to focus improvement, even where they would spend more time testing. When the team has debates, they can seek a compromise that helps accomplish a goal instead of being potentially self-serving.

You can think of the team as a boat. While they have the ability to sail and steer and whatnot, without goals, they don't have the wind they need to move.

The good news is you don't have to start with org-wide goals. You can start by inviting the team to answer the question, "In 2-5 years what do we want others to say about this team?" This question will begin to elicit what really matters to the team and create a team-level goal.

This is the breeze they need to begin.

You might be wondering if this really has that big of an impact. I was with one client where I did exactly this. They improved along every maturity model, metric, and even subjective observation rapidly. A team that had multiple consultants pushing them for 8 months was outpaced by my team in less than three months.

So, with that, what are your team's goals?

Here's my weekly update for September 10th, 2021...

🗒️ What Recruiters Don’t Tell You


At some point, everyone in tech works with external recruiters, but there are things the recruiter won’t tell you that makes a big difference.

They aren’t developers, they change your resume, and they’ve never worked at these places all shape how you should interpret their actions and set expectations.

Click here to read more

Also, proving you have another offer doesn’t keep them from walking away anyway. Super risky.
10:09 PM · Sep 08, 2021

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Sadly most interviews fit into this category. It sucks, and it isn't even malicious. It's more like this is how it's been for a long time and people are too busy to address it.A bad interview doesn't exactly mean a bad job.I see two options 🧵
12:09 AM · Sep 09, 2021

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Ryan Latta