Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Smells like team spirit ...

I was talking with another tester last week about team ethics.  Naturally as he's Indian based, he was talking cricket.

There is no doubt about the importance of teams – I'm going to approach it from the point of view of the “other scrum” (sorry Agilistas) – the Rugby kind.

My best Rugby days are behind me – but I still keep my hand in when I can and injuries persist.  Rugby is an amazing game because it has a lot of specialist roles – and indeed there's a role somewhere for anyone regardless of size and speed.  Big and slow?  We'll have you in the Scrum thankyou.  Fast as lightening?  We need you in the backs.

To get the most out of it, it helps to have trained with the guys you play with, and know they've got your back.  It helps to understand what everyone in the team does – the forwards and trying to get possession, and give the ball to the fleet footed backs to get the points.  It helps to have some experience in every position; prop, second row, number 8.

I always trained as a forward (the scrummers) until one game where I was a substitute, and we lost a back.  I got put into place as a winger – well outside my comfort zone – I had to ask “what am I supposed to do?”.  But it was a great game, I was out of position, and learning as I went – it kind of taught me a new respect for the backs, and an understanding of what they do.

We all know as a team, if we support each other, communicate when we have the ball, have each others backs, encourage and train together, it's going to be a positive experience, and we'll always do our best, even if we don't always win.  Believe me “communicating” when you have a gum shield is not very easy – but then sometimes all you need is “I'm here” and “c'mon with me”.

However if as in some teams, we don't know each other, we fail to communicate when passing the ball, and we constantly blame each other, we'll rarely win.

As with the team on the field, so for the team in the office …

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