Successful Teams : An experience share

In today's agile world, managing teams is quite a challenge. The pandemic has added another dimension to the problem : Remote work. A blend of management experience and skills are necessary to successfully manage teams in the current scenario.

This paper is an attempt to help current and future mangers and leaders gain some of these basic necessities. This paper talks about the various aspects to be considered to build and manage successful teams along with some real-world instances to support them. This approach is based on the various experiences of the author in his management journey as well as some learnings from observing other teams and management styles.

Team management is never straight forward, approach that works for one team might not work for another. However, the basic framework would remain valid across teams and this paper aims at providing the framework for current and upcoming managers and leaders. Following are the eight key aspects of successful teams :
1. Hiring - Building a team starts at hiring. The right hiring goes a long way in success of teams. Some aspects to consider here: Attitude, Inclusive hiring process, Employee referrals
2. Build Trust - The base of any team is trust. The team where its members trust each other is set to excel. Some aspects to consider here : Friendly atmosphere, Involvement, Transparency
3. Always-in-sync - Its always important for the leader as well as team members to be in constant sync, be it official matter or even something unofficial or social. Key aspect in this area is the bondage between team members.
4. Ownership - An effective way to keep the team engaged is to practice the idea of ownership. If team members own some part of a product or deliverable, it drives a sense of responsibility and accountability and eventually keeps them motivated. Some hey aspects to consider here : No micro management, Ensure visibility, Build next level leadership.
5. Freedom - The sense of ownership among team members would eventually need freedom for them to experiment and drive in their own way. It could be freedom in technology, process and even some individual aspects. Some key aspects to consider here : Employee Leaves, Flexibility, No fear of failure.
6. Career Path - Employees who have a clear career path would most likely remain engaged. Along with organizational goals, achieving career goals of employees is equally important. Some key aspects to consider here : Career path of employees, Higher education, Alternate career opportunities.
7. Leadership - Team leader is as important as the team itself. The leadership has a major say in how the team performs. Leadership also impacts the retention. Some key aspects to consider here : Facilitation, Don't dictate, Being fully aware, Managing conflicts.
8. Celebrate - All work and no fun would make anyone dull and sad. Same with teams. However engaged or motivated a team is, lack of fun at workplace would eventually begin the downward trend. Some key aspects to consider here : Fun in Day-to-Day activities, Celebrating occasions.

Vadiraj Thayur, QA Director

More than 18 years experience in Software Quality with a Masters in Quality Management from BITS Pilani. Currently working in Trellix as QA Director, driving Software Quality for the Enterprise SaaS solution. More than 8 years experience in managing teams. Presented papers at PNSQC in 2012 and 2014 and a poster paper in 2015. Involved with PNSQC as a paper reviewer since then for 3 editions of the conference.