/ Team Building

Points of failure in building high-performing tech teams

Huge no. of innovative ideas that can change the world, products that have potential to build great businesses, they won't happen. Despite the great motivation and resources, huge no. of leaders fail and will keep failing to launch that product.

Many studies have shown that around 68% of all tech projects fail. Either the product is never launched or it is delayed so much that the project loses the momentum & the team loses it's motivation. If you have looked closely, you may have also seen this around you.
While many amateur leaders/managers take it for granted that you put money and you'll be able to build a product, the failures keep repeating over and over again.

It's an interesting challenge to overcome. We all can face it more confidently, storm right into it and succeed only if we know what are the points of failures.

If you're a team leader/manager or you're soon going to be, this article will help you take right decisions quickly to avoid failures. If you're a developer, it will help you being a great team player.

Before you have a high-peforming team delivering results, you have a group of people working together. A group goes through 4 stages before reaching the highest level of performance as a team.

4 stages of group development

  1. Forming: where teams are formed, responsibilities are not understood properly yet, members are getting to know each other
  2. Storming: where members start understanding goals, their roles & responsibilities, they start doing tasks to achieve the goals, conflicts arise due to different personalities and working style, sometimes they push themselves and sometimes they get frustrated, they start questioning the team goals
  3. Norming: where group members are learning to work well with each other as a team, resolving their conflicts and appreciate each other, strong commitment towards team goals.
  4. Performing: where members are working very well as a team and moving forward. This is what we want to achieve.

Each stage has unique points of failure. It's the job of team leader to navigate the team through all these four stages successfully. Not an easy task!
I and many others have experienced it multiple times by now, you may have experienced this. Hope writing it down as a checklist will help you avoid failures in team building and save a lot of time in future.

List of common points of failures in all the stages one by one, here it goes

Stage#1: Forming
Getting people motivated enough to sign up & go throguh your screening process
Assessing skills & cultural fit accurately
Offer to join the team
On-boarding
Assigning right roles & responsibilities aligning goals

Stage#2: Storming
Making sure that each team member understands their roles & responsibilities
Making sure that each team member understands the goal
Identifying conflicts
Give team members chance to build relationships with other team members

Stage#3: Norming
Let team members resolve conflicts themselves first, it makes the relationship and team stronger
Solve conflicts for the team which they can't
Establish process to support the team to resolve challenges

Stage#4: Performing
Provide constructive feedback

I and other colleauges at Invide use this list as definitive checklist while building teams, this enforces that we follow right path everytime. You should too, because failing at any step means a lot more work later on, 68% of the time outright failure.

About author: Pradeep is Founder of Invide Labs. He is a developer, entrepreneur and an avid reader. He has been helping out startups building high-performing tech team through a unique model Invide.