The 7 traits of my “ideal” team

The best teams I worked in or know of, have the following traits and apply the accompanying practices.

My ideal team

My “ideal” team …

  • is customer oriented
    • cross-functional team composition
    • involves real users
  • understands requirements as assumptions
    • starts with the minimal desirable product
    • experiment/data-driven decision-making
  • is autonomous, has no external dependencies
    • self-organises
    • pull system
    • >= 3 members
    • “owns” their product end-to-end from ideation to operations
  • improves over time
    • learns constantly from each other (pairing, BBL, CoPs)
    • communicates well
    • regular process improvement and product feedback cycles (retros & reviews)
  • delivers efficiently
    • is aligned, works towards the same goal
    • <= 9 members
    • visualises to communicate internally and externally
  • delivers predictably
    • continuous flow (of stories on board)
    • predicts with lead time
    • approx. same size stories; no estimation
    • no planning meeting; backlog refinement as needed
  • delivers at will
    • highly automated tests / deployment / monitoring
    • clean (enough) codebase

What works best is highly contextual, so I won’t try to force any of this on a team. I realised though that most process improvement experiments I suggest are guided by my vision of this “ideal” team.

Photo by Joshua Earle


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