Agile, team

New team, new canvas

It’s Monday morning and your manager notifies you that you are going to be part of a new team. With mixed feelings, you start thinking about the next assignment. Who’s in the new team? What’s the domain like? What’s the code like? Like a painter finds himself in front a blank canvas, possibilities are endless. But where do you start?

The painter is constrained by the canvas and knows how to work within the environment: colors, brushes, style. But you don’t know yours: people, stakeholders, code and physical environment.

So you are anxious to start. You want this team to be the best. Long term, your success can depend many factors inside and outside the team.  Short term, your success depends if you take the time to talk about how you are going to work together, and if you are willing to work together. Sometimes, you need to tune down your ego or your special needs in order for the team to succeed.

For me, my first stroke on the canvas is to get the team to consider sitting together at one table. TDD, Pair Programming, Acceptance Testing, all of that can be introduced later. Because when you are sitting together, you are talking, joking, learning about each other and that’s when it’s not difficult to get started on any other practice.

That’s because you build trust first.