Teams carry their work with a portent they assume outsiders cannot understand.  An outsider in this instance can be a direct manager, a new team member, or, most likely, other teams within the organization.  This is a common theme – but let’s start with examining it from within a development team first.

The development team may feel rushed to produce because the process for project prioritization is loose.  Once this happens a development team can begin to form dissonant beliefs – for instance, that no one understands their plight.

Since development work is highly specialized (i.e. there isn’t a career path from help desk to software developer) development team members can have trouble expressing their frustrations to others outside the team.  And when these producers of work become frustrated their level of dissonance can increase exponentially until they see it as them against everyone else.  Or, really, the beginning of the end.

At the same time another team, like marketing/advertising, can tell themselves that the campaign they are working on is all-important.  Maybe, in their minds, it is an immediate trump card to developer objections to time or effort.   Many non-technical teams see software as being construction only. They fail to recognize that software, though analytical, is still just a communication game – like the rest of business.  But, if the advertising team truly believes this, how can anyone argue a counter position without causing the other to be wrong.

Both teams spend too much time looking out and laying blame rather than looking in.  At the same time, both teams feel that what they do is the most important – but how can the teams be the antithesis of one another?  Wouldn’t that just lead to disaster?  Yes.

They both miss business goals by focusing only on each other and not what they can improve.   Is a new marketing campaign a success if they just sacrificed or compromised their architecture, personnel etc.  Will that ROI get measured?  On the other hand, is the platform upgrade a success if they missed two marketing goals in a row?

Sometimes, A occurs.  And sometimes B occurs.  Trying to figure out why is a losing game because narrating past experiences only takes into account a single viewpoint.  It’s a fallacy.  So, don’t waste time trying to figure out why you can’t execute.  Focus on executing.

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