Yet another week of mentoring is over; the next team is ready, and another one is prepared. This time, it was, as always, quite unique and exciting. As I always say.

We met a new team of people, working in a successful company, and even though they’ve been sitting in the same room for more than 7 years, they never really worked together as a team. On this basis, it could be expected that it will not be difficult and go smoothly. But the experienced seniors would know that exactly the team like that, ‘the almost team’, is the worst situation.

Kaine ahnung? I think that the team is more than just a group. A team is a group with the common goal, it’s not just a group of people sitting together in one room.

Misters ‘masters’ came to the training in a great mood—pretty good for the first meeting. And then an agile mentor asked the typical question: ‘Who are you, my friends? ‘ The answer felt like a scythe on the stone: ‘ The rest.’ Caught with sheepish smiles.

They have no idea why they’d been put together. Every one of them does something different. They don’t know anything about the work of the other. And basically, they are scared that they won’t even be interested. And just like that, the 20 eyes started staring at me, sending the message, ‘So, what are we going to do about that?’

Breathe in. Breathe out. 1,2,3. Come on!

During the training, one said, ‘We’re like from the movie Ocean’s 11. Everyone exceptional at something.’ By the way, this is my second team, Ocean’s 11. (the first team, this is not about you ;). Or is it?).

Since that moment, you haven’t heard anything other than O11, O11, O11. George, Brad, Matt, Elliot, Bernie, Carl,…

This was the metaphor that broke the ice between them. Thanks to it, they realized that it was necessary to try to use different abilities, which were, in fact, their great advantage.

They knew it would not be ideal, but if they didn’t force themselves to listen to each other -> they would not be respected -> they would not be supported -> they would only work for money with their headphones on and slippers -> end up alone with their problems.

They agreed that they did not want to do this because they had already experienced it over the past few years. Team members want to go on a vacation. They need to go to the doctor from time to time, need to be with family, and sometimes do not want to be doing something for the hundredth time; they want to experience something new.

So we’ve mapped the technologies, experiences, who knows what, and who wants what. Who is on the given topic:

  1. an absolute virgin,
  2. junior needed supervision,
  3. senior, who do not need supervision,
  4. Yoda, who will teach the topic.

The classic matrix of abilities. Plus a lot of desire, sincerity, openness and courage. Based on this, we then found multiple members for each topic. Thus, we introduced the foundations of micro-teams with substitutability.

And so, the team, where the beginning looked like an end, we ended up at the beginning. Thanks to listening, effort to understand, and especially the effort to play together to achieve the same goal.

Guys, thank you very much for your energy…