During my organizational psychology studies I had read the book “The Psychology of Computer Programming” (Gerald M. Weinberg, 1971). I had already seen that teams are very special organizational units.
I observed closely the organization of the outsourcing company I worked for: it was team based. The owner called “Team” the whole group of people he hired. It was obvious that some teams were stronger than others and this was for a reason.
In the outsourcing world there is a misleading feeling of freedom. You feel free and empowered to improve your way of work. Once you start doing it, you feel everybody has an opinion on how the way should be. On top of it, the client which you provide service to, shall also approve.
I don’t say it is not possible, but it is surprisingly hard to put your freedom in practice. So I observed that there are people who naturally strive to work together in way so to deploy their common way of work. Even more, there were people ready to start working by themselves to a client as far as the management is the one that they choose.
This line of thoughts led me to the past when I formed my teams in the Hybrid BMS department. In practice it was not me who identified the teams. I saw that some team members naturally work well together, so I somehow assigned them common goals. One of the team members was playing the role of a technical mentor. Within a couple of months, maybe less, they were operating already independently having the technical mentor acting as team lead.
So I thought those two are examples of naturally formed teams. They wish to stay together and build a product or service following their own rules. This phenomenon is priceless. Why managers do not take advantage of the energy which the people generate naturally? I looked closely to my examples and I saw so many fears…
Talking with developers, reflecting my experience, all this made me realize that:
To develop an organization, you need stable Team/s.
I had already seen teams in project based organizational structure and in classical skill oriented operations. And I was able to testify the following:
The stronger the team, the better the product.
The stronger the team, the more reliable the service.
The observations of the team dynamics in the outsourcing environment led me to the conclusion that teams might go to a higher maturity level: The Economy of Teams™ .