Great news the project is over! Now let’s dismantle the team
Congratulations, you have finally delivered the project! The team you have carefully assembled over many months can now be dismantled and people can go back to their normal job. That’s the natural sequence in the project management world – project is kicked-off, team is assembled, team develops solution, team encounters delays, team tests solution, team moves solution into production, team hands-off solution to maintenance team, project team is dismantled, and life goes back to normal.
I wonder if the Green Bay Packers will do the same now that they have won SuperBowl XLV or maybe the San Fransisco Giants may want to start their 2011 season with new players after winning the 2010 World Series. At least the F.C. Internazionale Milano should want to give it a fresh start after winning the Serie A championship, wouldn’t you think?
Nobody would consider breaking up a highly performing sport team but when it comes to software development, it is common for organizations and departments to split up team members and start new with their next project.
From a purely practical perspective, breaking up a performing team makes no sense considering the time invested in:
- carefully selecting and recruiting the right people with the right skill sets and the right attitude,
- hiring external consultants with specific skills to complement the existing team,
- getting the team to work together despite the team members’ personalities, work methods and obvious looming conflicts,
- training people on the organizational culture and business activities,
- establishing a leadership style that will work well with the team’s expectations,
- eliminating the bad hires,
- building relationships with the team members and between the project team members themselves,
Team members need time to become highly performing. Why not keep those team members together after the completion of their project and assign them together to the next project – even if the skill sets doesn’t seem to be perfect at first glance?