Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boundaries and Team Productivity: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Occasionally we pull together a presentation for a meeting that takes on a life of its own.  This deck was one of those:

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors — The Importance of Team Boundaries (SlideShare)

Team boundaries are an important concept.  Studies have found that many, if not most, teams have fuzzy boundaries. The result is a lack of clarity about who is part of the effort.  That can have significant productivity effects – not good ones!

For most of us “team boundaries” is not a familiar phrase.  But consider Scrum, more familiar ground for many readers.

Scrum is very much centered on team roles and processes.  And one of those roles, the Scrum Master, maintains the team’s boundaries as a primary responsibility.

Scrum's concern with boundaries is primarily in preventing interference from outside the team.  But another consideration is this: if you don't know a person is on your team you can't ask them for information.  And searching for information is a very costly activity.

From these quick examples, I think we can agree that most of us have run across this topic under some or other headline. 

Take a look at the slides and let me know what you think!

(Note: SlideShare is a great tool, but it's PowerPoint conversion is imperfect. For the best viewing, download the slides and open in PowerPoint).

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