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How to change as a team? A question often asked.

Treat opinions like hypotheses.

Changing as a team is a common challenge, often concealed behind the question, "How can we solve this technical problem?"

Frequently, it's not a technical issue that teams can't solve but rather one they don't want to solve. Tackling complex challenges in software development requires more than just hands-on skills. Often, we don’t know how to solve a problem yet, but we discover the solution while working through it—this is the essence of development.

Solving Problems Requires a Common Goal and Willingness

  1. Clear Goals: Without a clear goal, you don't know where you're going or whether you've reached it.

  2. Willingness: Without the willingness to achieve the goal, you'll likely never get there.

The wrong way to have opinions often involves resistance to change, which becomes a roadblock. This resistance stems from bias and stubbornness, and it typically stalls progress when we insist on our opinions no matter what. This leads to a stalled process.

Here are some common examples of this mindset:

If we realize our opinions are shallow, we should be open to change

  • "I have XYZ amount of years of experience."

  • "I’ve done it this way for years."

  • "Why change something that works?"

  • "Changing this could jeopardize everything we've built."

  • "Better safe than sorry."

If we realize our opinions are shallow, we should be open to change. It's important to treat opinions as hypotheses that need to be proven. Strong opinions can drive a team forward, and strong arguments provide the necessary pressure to refine ideas. The best way to test opinions is to treat them like hypotheses, which need to be proven. This fosters an open-minded approach.

Here are some examples of specific hypotheses based on strong opinions, which are yet to be proven but are motivating to pursue:

  • "By practicing a new approach for a few months, we’ll reduce stress levels."

  • "Delivering small increments will improve communication, instead of hiding our work for weeks."

The key here is that these opinions aim for specific goals and outcomes. It's akin to setting "S.M.A.R.T." goals, but let's not dive into that now.

Changing as a team boils down to goals and willingness. Set a worthy goal and pursue it. Don't stall the change process because change leads to better outcomes.

Thanks for listing and reading! 🍀

Did you know? SnackableCTO offers a 1:1 90-minute mentoring session when subscribing to the “Mentoring Member” tier.

Seeking guidance? Whether it's a collaborative journey for your team or a personalized 1-on-1 mentoring experience, I'm here to help. Reach out, and let's find the perfect fit for you.

Have a great week!

Adrian Stanek, snackableCTO

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