Oct 13th, 2021

Teamwork

Part 2: Asking for Help

Written by: Shane Oswald, Director of Delivery

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In my previous post I wrote about the team mentality that we encourage our delivery teams to adopt as we work on projects. We encourage that same team mentality within our leadership team here at Clientek.

When I first started working at Clientek, it took me a little while to get acclimated to the culture. One aspect that was particularly challenging was being comfortable asking for help. There is often a negative connotation associated to the act of asking for help. Unfortunately, it can be perceived by some as an admission of failure. We don’t see it that. It takes courage to ask for help. In order to make it easier for people to do that, we adopt an environment where it’s okay and encouraged to request assistance.

One of the ways we encourage this within our leadership group is by explicitly asking each team member every week, “What do you need help with?” We start each week with an ‘all hands’ meeting with our Delivery Leads and Technical Leads to talk about which projects need assistance. We come to the meeting with the assumption that people need help, so it creates a comfortable environment and allows people to be vulnerable.

In addition to our weekly ‘ask for help’ meeting, we also spend a great deal of time listening for additional clues where a team or project may need assistance even without the project team members realizing it. With every software development project, there are going to be challenges. It’s inevitable. In the heat of the moment, it’s very easy to silo and be consumed by the problem which can make the obvious solution impossible to see. We take the time to discuss these issues as a team because often times an outside perspective or sounding board is all the team needs to solve the problem. When there are issues on a project, we take the time as a team to really understand what the symptoms of those issues are. If we don’t understand the problem, then we can’t pitch in and help fix it.

Each one of our team members, no matter the title or seniority, is willing to pitch in and help at any given moment. Like I’ve stated before, our collective experience is greater than the sum of its parts.