FRAMEWORK FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAMS

STEALTH

While discussing project requirements, during planning, kick off, and when the work has started, there are some topics, that are never discussed. These topics are meant to be obvious by every team member, without any preliminary agreement. They are so obvious, that mentioning them, not even talking about going into details, seems absolutely unnecessary.
How does this anti-pattern impact the team?
Impact
Out of the blue the team is running into nasty technical issues, which are difficult to describe, and surprisingly hard and time-consuming to fix. Overcoming them often requires the team to change some of their core assumptions and approaches to work.

This anti-pattern impairs the ability of the team to Deliver.
How can you spot this anti-pattern?
Signals
-Team discusses only the happy pass of a critical use case.
- Some routine procedure (e.g. deployment) is somewhat inconvenient, and often requires a small additional effort to succeed. However it has not caused a big trouble, so nobody pays attention.

These signals are the "red flags", that indicate it is worth taking a closer look to check whether the anti-pattern is present.
Let's review this anti-pattern on different levels:
Events
On the level of events we can say: "An important topic was not discussed during the team meeting, and some questions remained open".
Patterns
On the level of patterns we can observe the following: "The team members stumble upon a repeating issue, that requires a small, but non-trivial effort to resolve, each team member coping with the issue on their own."
Systems
On the level of systems we can state that "Ignoring an existing issue or an open question causes the technical and/or product debt to accumulate and drastically slow down the work of the team in the longer run."
Mental Models
In case if we notice that the team leader is apprehensive of challenging the team members on their solutions or thought process, it is very important to find out the root cause of such behavior.

Written by Aleksandr Zuravliov

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