Oct 7th, 2021

Teamwork

Part 1: Ownership

Written by: Shane Oswald, Director of Delivery

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One of the things I love about working at Clientek is the culture. An important piece of that culture is our team mentality. We put a lot of effort and attention into making sure that we build teams that are willing to pitch in and help on a problem because our collective experience is really what drives our success. Over the course of the next few posts, I will touch on the key aspects of this team mentality within our development teams and leadership group. If nothing else, I get to brag a little bit about what it’s like to work here at Clientek.

For anyone who doesn’t know, we deliver projects for our clients utilizing an Agile methodology, delivering value in two-week sprints. At the beginning of every sprint, we conduct a sprint planning exercise where our teams identify all the tasks that are required to complete the sprint, with each task getting assigned to an individual. We ask team members to swarm on stories in priority order. That sometimes means that team members are working on something that doesn’t perfectly align with their preferred tech stack. Sometimes it means developers help our QA team execute tests. When team members are willing to extend beyond their specific area of expertise, two things occur: 1) Everyone on the team takes ownership for delivering on the sprint commitments and 2) Individual team members gain knowledge in different areas, learning and growing. Ultimately, this kind of team mentality will drive the team to reach the “performing” stage faster.

Our team mentality can also be seen through our sprint demonstrations. Over the course of a sprint, we like to do frequent inspections or demos on progress that’s been made. These activities are slightly different than our traditional end-of-sprint demos as the ability to show a fully tested, final product is not required. They could include demos of working applications, demos of design documents or test case documents, reviews of screen mockups or even code reviews. We encourage everyone on the team, including our clients (because they are in fact part of the team), to participate in these reviews. It allows everyone to weigh in and collaborate on what is being delivered and the best way to deliver it. This promotes engagement and team ownership over what is being delivered.

Each team member brings value to our projects. Our collective experience is greater than the sum of its parts.