Leading High Performance Teams


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How to lead high performing teams ?

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Leading High Performance Teams

  1. 1. Presenter : Magesh Gangadharan Director of Software – Game Development Magesh.gangadharan@gmail.com www.linkedin.com/in/mageshgangadharan/
  2. 2.      If you are given a chance to pick your own team then ensure that you form the best team. You need great people to accomplish great things. Hire someone who is a cultural fit. Skills can be taught but not attitude. Hire someone with tremendous energy . You can spot them right on. (obviously he needs to have the skills what you are looking for). Pick some one with “Can do” “Will do” attitude and someone who is willing to learn new things in the process of getting it done.
  3. 3. ◦ Get to know your team and their interests (hobbies , sports etc.). ◦ Get to know what a person is good at (skills) and not good at. ◦ Motivation factors vary between team members. Find out what motivates each member in your team?
  4. 4. o Crystal Clear Vision – Give the team a clear understanding of what is being asked in one or two simple sentences. o Context – Explain to the team where the program fits into the overall organization’s direction . o Tell them why we are doing this and what needs to be achieved. o Let the team figure out how they are going to get there. o Give an opportunity for the team to ask questions and clarify their thoughts. o Wrap up the meeting by asking who are interested in this journey (project) and willing to commit themselves with you in this journey (project) . Only involve people who are genuinely interested and motivated to work in this project. o The outcome of this meeting is suppose to evoke the fire within each team member and get them all excited and charged to work on this new initiative
  5. 5.    Purpose – Problem to be Solved ? Tell the team what needs to be accomplished and what are the constraints imposed ? Articulate the purpose clearly Not like “Improving the efficiency of the system” but something like “Increasing the efficiency from handling 1000 transactions per minute (TPM) to 50,000 TPM” .
  6. 6. o As a leader dig more and understand what are the limitations / restraints that apply to the project. o Promote those limitations / restraints as challenges / obstacles that the team has to overcome to taste success. o Let the team know that as a lead its your job to work with the team in pro-actively removing the obstacles that come their way.
  7. 7. o Everyone in the team needs to have a clear view of what his role and responsibilities are. o Every team member should have clarity on - What his deliverables (user stories) are ? and - By when (sprint duration) – date ? o Its also important that everyone understands the roles and responsibilities of other members within the team . o Transparency in communication – Good or Bad the information has to be candid and openly communicated within the team. o Its always better to over-communicate rather assuming everyone knows. o Promote an environment where people can voice concerns or issues without any hesitation.
  8. 8. o o Define Success – Clearly articulate what success means for your project. Set high standards for performance
  9. 9. o Both Decision making and Conflicts (both internal and external) need to be resolved ASAP. Delaying them will cause more damage. o In the process of decision making get the right people involved to brainstorm. o With available information take a decision early and if it turns out to be wrong you still would have time to correct it. o Never delay taking decisions. Wrong decisions are better than taking no action. Effort taken will be worth the time spent. This will be of use later in some other project. o External conflict – Conflicts that arise with other organization’s need to be dealt with in an amicable manner on a regular basis .
  10. 10.    Define Milestones for the overall program and for each member and track them against these milestones. Milestone deliverables should be something demonstrable / showable and not just asking the member if he has met this milestone or not and crossing a checklist. Meeting milestones gives visibility and promotes team’s morale.
  11. 11.    Go looking for problems and do Not wait for them to come to you. Walk around - Talk with your Team /managers / leads / testers / sales / Product management and sniff for issues / changes / problems and deal with them ASAP. In a true agile environment the asks /requirements / issues keep changing all the time , so be open to change . Revisit your plan often and see what needs to be changed and communicate to all the stakeholders and team of the change.
  12. 12.      Primary job of the leader is to remove all the obstacles that come in the way as the team progresses. Be an Enabler and the team will get the job done. Team needs to be constantly motivated . Prompt candid feedback goes a long way. Challenge team’s assumptions in a constructive way to bring out useful feedback. Maintain right ethics all the time.
  13. 13. The leader should provide ample freedom, opportunity that enables growth of his team members.  Your team members should know that you care.  As a leader integrity matters a lot – Never say one thing and do something else.  Perseverance – In terms of crisis you be there for the team supporting them.  Leader should provide the team with liberty to take risks and try new things without being worried about failing and repercussions that follow.  People feeling Included , Trusted , Valued and Respected 
  14. 14.        Communicate ! Communicate ! Communicate ! One of the primary reasons for great teams failing is often contributed to insufficient communication. As a leader you have to discuss/validate with the team on your assumptions of what’s going on in the team / issues /status / dates / change requests / risks in regular intervals. Promote an environment where people are NOT reluctant/hesitant to challenge / ask questions / bring out concerns to any one within the team or outside the team. Both internal and external communication are vital for the success of a program. Encourage our teams to communicate excessively and not worry about redundant information. In case of doubt or lack in clarity suggest the team member to sort the issue first before assuming anything.
  15. 15.   Only results matter hence the team has to deliver results. Ensure ongoing delivery of results by meeting all milestones.