Ways of Working and Peer Accountability

At my previous job, the software development team I led suffered through a moment of not knowing how to work together. During my PMP certification course, we touched on Tuckman’s rules for how teams come together through forming, storming, norming, performing. I realized my team had been stuck in the storming phase for a long time after we lost one developer and onboarded a new hire. Moreover, the importance of creating ways of working was apparent after I took a PMP certification course. We didn’t know how to resolve conflict. We didn’t know how to be accountable to each other. We didn’t know how to make decisions as a team and move on.

As a team, we decided when our core hours would be as we were mostly remote. We decided how we’d communicate and how to vote on paths forward when a decision needed to be made. We came up with shared values that sound simple, but are still good to note. For example, we all want to do good work. We all want to be respected and feel heard.

Once we came up with our guide for how we would work together as a team, we published it on our intranet. If an issue arose with a team member, anyone on the team was empowered to turn to our ways of working and address how a behavior wasn’t consistent with how we agreed to work. There are always going to be challenges bringing together a group of people on a shared project. If you can plan for those difficulties in advance you’re team will be more productive and better able to get along as people.

Tim Lepczyk

Writer, Technologist, and Librarian.

Leave a Reply