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Scotch on the Rocks 2013 Talk on Great Teams

Languages, frameworks, testing, toolkits, and methods. These are the things we spend our time learning, discussing and debating. We spend very little time (if any) discussing the most important factor in how we work and how we succeed: our team and our teamwork. In my talk I'll discuss what makes a great team and why you need to be on one. I'll draw from 10 years of experience running multiple startups in multiple countries, from small 2 man teams to managing an organisation of over 100 technical professionals. Technology and tools are easy. Humans and human relationships are hard.

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Scotch on the Rocks 2013 Talk on Great Teams

  1. 1. Your BEST Chance for Success
  2. 2. MOTORCYCLE RACING AN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMEN
  3. 3. VALENTINO ROSSI
  4. 4. JEREMY BURGESS
  5. 5. HONDA RC211V
  6. 6. In SoftwareAt Least 80% Depends on Your Team
  7. 7. WHAT DO YOU OPTIMIS
  8. 8. Choose OneGreat Team, Crap Business Model Great Business Model, Crap Team
  9. 9. Who am I? 4th Startup CEO of Administrate GetAdministrate.com @johnjpeebles john@peebs.org PEEBS.org
  10. 10. I’m Passionate About Teams
  11. 11. Inspire Equip Motivate
  12. 12. Every Success I’ve Had in Life Has Come from Great
  13. 13. Nontraditiona l Teams
  14. 14. A GREAT TEAM CAN CHANGE THE WORLD Fantastic products Unbelievable outcomes Size is almost irrelevant
  15. 15. TEAM: YOUR BEST CHANCE FOR
  16. 16. THINK BACK TO UNIVERSIT
  17. 17. - JOHN CARMACK, ID SOFTWARE quite a bit about software development, both on the personal craftsman level but also paying more attention by what it means on the team dynamics side of things….It’s about social interactions between the programmers or even between yourself spread over time…
  18. 18. - FRED WILSON, UNION SQUARE VENTURES “We made the classic mistake that all investors make. We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do. …we don't always get it right. We missed Airbnb even though we loved the team. Big mistake.”
  19. 19. The 1983 NC State Wolfpack
  20. 20. HALLMARKS OF A BAD TEAM No clear goal Constant fundamental disagreement on approach Unproductive Poor communication High Attrition Not fun Politics: No meritocracy Sacred cows Lack of transparency
  21. 21. IF YOU WERE STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY…
  22. 22. Success Without People is Empty
  23. 23. THE PROBLEM WITH DEFINING GREAT TEAMS IS… Every Mission Statement Ever
  24. 24. HALLMARKS OF A GREAT TEAMA Common Goal High Trust Respect for Each Other High Standards (A sense of being elite) Productive (Great Teams Ship) Things feel easy, Everyone has fun Nobody leaves High Responsibility (Ownership)
  25. 25. GREAT TEAMS STAY TOGETHER Pay cuts Product is secondary “Work with X!”
  26. 26. You must be a good leader You must have authority Difficult in a larger organization This will be painful, and slow! How to Build a Great Team
  27. 27. Stay focused on your goals Always show your work (transparent) Search for disagreement Play the devil’s advocate Be the dumbest person in the room Be funny Be calm Don’t tolerate politics or assholes How to Lead a Team
  28. 28. MANAGEMENT By Context By Philosophy By Values
  29. 29. AGILE AND LEAN: BUILT ON THE ASSUMPTION OF GREATEver seen Agile in a Large Corporate Environment?
  30. 30. MVP: MINIMUM VIABLE PROCESS Examples of Minimum Viable Process: Source Control, Tests, Documentation Good process should be an accelerant. Instead it's often a distraction or limiter.
  31. 31. HOW TO PRESERVE GREAT TEAMS Protect the Team Invest in the Team Inspire the Team Listen to the Team 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies!
  32. 32. ASSESS YOUR ENVIRONMENT Can you do this?
  33. 33. LIFE IS TOO SHORT
  34. 34. RESOURCE S Peopleware – Demarco and Lister Reference Guide on Our Freedom and Responsibility Culture – Reed Hastings http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001 Smart and Gets Things Done – Joel Spolsky
  35. 35. GET IN TOUCH! (P.S. WE’RE HIRING) john@peebs.org @johnjpeebles GetAdministrate.com PEEBS.org John Peebles

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Languages, frameworks, testing, toolkits, and methods. These are the things we spend our time learning, discussing and debating. We spend very little time (if any) discussing the most important factor in how we work and how we succeed: our team and our teamwork. In my talk I'll discuss what makes a great team and why you need to be on one. I'll draw from 10 years of experience running multiple startups in multiple countries, from small 2 man teams to managing an organisation of over 100 technical professionals. Technology and tools are easy. Humans and human relationships are hard.

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