A Tribute to My Team

Yesterday, I participated in the last daily standup with my latest distributed project team in 2007. Special thanks to Pete, Jeff, Smitha, Barry, Owen, Simon, Manoj, Nat, Tom, Tamas, Grant and of course, Ivan! Their greatest achievement was helping to maintain the joy-pain equilibrium that, for me, gave the project meaning. It’s people who deliver projects, but it takes real teams to deliver quality sofware. Most important of all, they helped make learning possible.

‘No egos’ – that’s an observation from the project retrospective we had back in November that sticks in my mind most. How many teams can say that I wonder? This doesn’t mean we were cold-hearted, dull automatons. Not at all. Because we had a shared understanding of what collaboration really means, we raised impediments (even if that meant sometimes we had to face more obstacles than achievements). And we pulled together to resolve them. Everyone just mucked in. You have to acknowledge a problem before you can fix it.

Over time, we came up with our own team manifesto by defining:

  • What an ‘open environment‘ means to us
  • What a ‘team‘ means to us
  • What ‘quality software development‘ means to us.

While the manifesto is an achievement in itself, it clearly demonstrates that the best ideas come from each individual thinking as an individual as well as working as part of a team.

For me, the best day of the project was the team gathering – a day where we began brainstorming ideas that contributed to our manifesto ultimately and the day when we played the XP Game. Team Tarka vs Old Peculiar. The pictures tell the real story: so this is what a no-egos team looks like. Seeing is believing. It’s up to all of us to demand better of ourselves.

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