Teams are composed of individuals impacted by their own organization’s culture, which can prove to be a challenge if you don’t account for this at the start of a project.
In a recent post, we examined the impact of organizational culture on product strategy teams. Typically, organizational culture is built on a corporate vision and set of values and beliefs, which are shared with employees through internal and external communication, company images, training, work experiences and formal and informal feedback.
So often, product teams consist of team members from different companies, who are brought together for a short amount of time to accomplish a goal. Given the interpersonal nature of product teamwork, setting the right expectations and working from the same set of values is essential. Ultimately, taking the time to mindfully shape a product team’s culture can have a significant effect on the fate of a product launch.
When you first bring a product team together, call out the values that are important to the work and why. You’ll find that identifying the key values of your work process can yield beneficial results for both your product and your team.
Here are Geneca’s key values of teamwork for an effective product launch:
1. Collaboration: Set an expectation that all team members are expected to be equal contributors and to challenge ideas and not each other. Make sure you put processes and tools in place such as daily standups/scrums, on-line presence, text messaging and easy access to project artifacts that encourage collaboration.
2. Ownership: In a collective ownership model, people are responsible for their part of the project and the entire team is responsible for the project success. If each person does their part, the project will be successful. To avoid challenges, team members must commit to deliver and agree to work together to keep the project on track.
3. Visibility: Enabling each person’s work to be visible allows the team to build trust in each other. A team member’s reliability depends on how transparent they are about what they’ve taken responsibility for, and how well they handle it to completion without causing issues for the group. Some teams avoid visibility because they are uncomfortable with accountability, leading to negative opinions about members of the team. If visibility is important to you, be prepared to have some difficult discussions, if team members are not making their work visible or consistently missing commitments.
4. Deliver business value – When software products don’t deliver business value, it can yield disappointing product launch and adoption-related results. If this is important to you, make sure the business goals are kept at the forefront of the team’s thinking in all of the work that they do. This will also help minimize overly complex solutions or time spent designing for the 1% problem.
What values has your organization identified as essential to teamwork? Please share in the comments section below.