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HOW TO BUILD A GREAT TEAMGreg Thomas
http://www.rambli.com
Type in “Great Teams” into Google and you’ll get a million
results on the importance of building a GREAT team, the
need to build a GREAT team and the failure of not building a
GREAT team.
After all
Great products
are the side-
effect of great
teams
Notice I
didn’t say…• Will know C#
• Will know Design Patterns
• Will be an SCRUM Master
• Will code with IDE version xx.xx
• Will have 5 years experience with
Python
• Will be a Unit Test Ninja
• Must be a JavaScript GURU
They don’t matter
All those skills don’t
matter to building a
great team.
Those are all
LEARNED
behaviours that anyone
can learn.
Don’t believe me?
Peope still read!
flexibility
So whatdoes make a
great team?
(To name a few)
TALK
TALK
TALK
But – if we were all the same, we would be a
pretty boring and pretty useless team.
Which is the opposite of a great team
We don’t want to wilt and shrink, we want to grow and
expand.
How?
So, the questions then become
• “How do I build a great?”,
• “What do I need to set myself up for success?”
• “What should I look for?”
The following are the
skills and traits I
think youshould be
looking for when
hiring people.
YOU NEED A HULK
Why?
• Because you need someone who is not
afraid to SMASH through a problem
with willful abandon and ignoring the
consequences.
• These people help break the problem
barrier and push you through to the
next level.
• These are the late-night riders that
never stop, they take caffeine and push
until it's done.
• When the rest of the team needs a
break, they don’t stop pushing till the
they break-through the wall.
You need a flash
Why?
• There are people that can do the steady
state and push out consistency, but
sometimes you need something done
yesterday today – this is the Flash.
• You call the Flash 5 minutes to Keynote to
fix a broken demo.
• Where the Hulk SMASHES, the Flash
BLAZES a trail
• The Flash doesn't stop for anyone, if you
can't get on the train, the exit is to your
left, he's got a job to do and he's not
slowing down for anyone.
You need a Spiderman
Why?
• You need the steady-state player, the
one that is always Pushing Tin.
• Dedication, Responsibility, Persistence.
• Spiderman knows people are counting
on them and Never gives up.
• He might not break the wall or rip
through their sprint the fastest – but
he’ll make sure it’s done right, taking
the time to work with others and build
the team.
• And everyone needs a joker to keep
things light.
You need Dr. Manhattan
Why?
• Because someone needs to ask the hard
questions that no one is thinking about.
• Someone needs to push everyone's
thinking from the current level to the
next one.
• This is how a team grows, they question,
they learn, they push, they improve.
• You need the person that is thinking
about the EDGE cases, contemplating
user scenarios and the next few releases
ahead while working on the current
problem.
You need a BATMAN
Why?
• I know you were all waiting for
this one.
• But you only need Batman for
one reason as illustrated here.
• There are no fancy skills or
gimics save one – “Keep the
Team on Point.” -
• No refactoring for the sake of
refactoring, no forgetting
about the bugs in the quest to
get it done fast.
What no leader?
They are
all
leaders
for
different
scenarios
Need to make the hard call to undo
a month’s worth of hard work?
Need to ship a BETA to a customer
tomorrow?
Need to keep product shipping
when chaos is all around you?
Need to establish next year’s vision
for what we want to accomplish?
Need to keep the focus on next
year’s budget planning session
and not this week’s bean bag
chairs?
FlyA great team rotates through the opportunities realizing
that not everyone is an expert at everything and we all
have certain skills to best suited to certain scenarios.
These skills and character traits matter when hiring
people, they are what build a great team.
Everything else is a learned skill.
Create the right team and they can learn and build
anything.
Lastly, don’t build ateam on…
• Gender
• Love life
• Choice of Restaurant
• Favourite Breed of Dog
• Video Game Skills
• Spirituality
These are all distractions to the ultimate goal of
creating the best team possible. They have no
place in influencing your decision to select a
team and only serve to limit your choices.
You want the best… so pick from the best.
T h e e n d
Greg Thomas
http://www.rambli.com

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How to Build a Great Team

  • 1. HOW TO BUILD A GREAT TEAMGreg Thomas http://www.rambli.com
  • 2. Type in “Great Teams” into Google and you’ll get a million results on the importance of building a GREAT team, the need to build a GREAT team and the failure of not building a GREAT team.
  • 3. After all Great products are the side- effect of great teams
  • 4. Notice I didn’t say…• Will know C# • Will know Design Patterns • Will be an SCRUM Master • Will code with IDE version xx.xx • Will have 5 years experience with Python • Will be a Unit Test Ninja • Must be a JavaScript GURU
  • 5. They don’t matter All those skills don’t matter to building a great team. Those are all LEARNED behaviours that anyone can learn.
  • 8. flexibility So whatdoes make a great team? (To name a few)
  • 9. TALK TALK TALK But – if we were all the same, we would be a pretty boring and pretty useless team.
  • 10. Which is the opposite of a great team We don’t want to wilt and shrink, we want to grow and expand.
  • 11. How? So, the questions then become • “How do I build a great?”, • “What do I need to set myself up for success?” • “What should I look for?”
  • 12. The following are the skills and traits I think youshould be looking for when hiring people.
  • 13. YOU NEED A HULK Why? • Because you need someone who is not afraid to SMASH through a problem with willful abandon and ignoring the consequences. • These people help break the problem barrier and push you through to the next level. • These are the late-night riders that never stop, they take caffeine and push until it's done. • When the rest of the team needs a break, they don’t stop pushing till the they break-through the wall.
  • 14. You need a flash Why? • There are people that can do the steady state and push out consistency, but sometimes you need something done yesterday today – this is the Flash. • You call the Flash 5 minutes to Keynote to fix a broken demo. • Where the Hulk SMASHES, the Flash BLAZES a trail • The Flash doesn't stop for anyone, if you can't get on the train, the exit is to your left, he's got a job to do and he's not slowing down for anyone.
  • 15. You need a Spiderman Why? • You need the steady-state player, the one that is always Pushing Tin. • Dedication, Responsibility, Persistence. • Spiderman knows people are counting on them and Never gives up. • He might not break the wall or rip through their sprint the fastest – but he’ll make sure it’s done right, taking the time to work with others and build the team. • And everyone needs a joker to keep things light.
  • 16. You need Dr. Manhattan Why? • Because someone needs to ask the hard questions that no one is thinking about. • Someone needs to push everyone's thinking from the current level to the next one. • This is how a team grows, they question, they learn, they push, they improve. • You need the person that is thinking about the EDGE cases, contemplating user scenarios and the next few releases ahead while working on the current problem.
  • 17. You need a BATMAN Why? • I know you were all waiting for this one. • But you only need Batman for one reason as illustrated here. • There are no fancy skills or gimics save one – “Keep the Team on Point.” - • No refactoring for the sake of refactoring, no forgetting about the bugs in the quest to get it done fast.
  • 19. They are all leaders for different scenarios Need to make the hard call to undo a month’s worth of hard work? Need to ship a BETA to a customer tomorrow? Need to keep product shipping when chaos is all around you? Need to establish next year’s vision for what we want to accomplish? Need to keep the focus on next year’s budget planning session and not this week’s bean bag chairs?
  • 20. FlyA great team rotates through the opportunities realizing that not everyone is an expert at everything and we all have certain skills to best suited to certain scenarios. These skills and character traits matter when hiring people, they are what build a great team. Everything else is a learned skill. Create the right team and they can learn and build anything.
  • 21. Lastly, don’t build ateam on… • Gender • Love life • Choice of Restaurant • Favourite Breed of Dog • Video Game Skills • Spirituality These are all distractions to the ultimate goal of creating the best team possible. They have no place in influencing your decision to select a team and only serve to limit your choices. You want the best… so pick from the best.
  • 22. T h e e n d Greg Thomas http://www.rambli.com