Over time, teams stagnate, they become comfortable in what they are, who they are, who is the GOTO, and how things get done. Little things have become embedded processes because “that’s just how we do and there is no point in trying something else”.
It’s at this time that the team needs a shakeup, a jolt, a kick to try something new.
Perhaps it’s switching people around (Jeff takes on customer tickets this month, Julie moves to back-end dev) or maybe it’s shaking up the overall delivery (let’s focus on shipping weekly vs monthly), whatever it is, the team is getting shaken.
If you are in the process of doing this a few key items to help your team get through the storm of change;
- Emphasize trying things out to see how it goes, not for it to be permanent – this helps reduce stress as everyone works to see the big picture.
- Explain what you’re doing and why.
- Keep the changes manageable, with the potential to show immediate results – this will help the team in producing – “oh, okay now I get it.” – moments of success.
- Follow up with the most affected, they are bearing the burden, so do what you can to help them out and help them see the other side of things.
Your changes might become permanent, but in the beginning, they are little experiments to try something different.