Dynamic Reteaming, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Your team will change whether you like it or not. People will come and go. Your company might double in size or even be acquired. In this practical book, author Heidi Helfand shares techniques for reteaming effectively. Engineering leaders will learn how to catalyze team change to reduce the risk of attrition, learning and career stagnation, and the development of knowledge silos.

Based on research into well-known software companies, the patterns in this book help CTOs and team managers effectively integrate new hires into an existing team, manage a team that has lost members, or deal with unexpected change. You’ll learn how to isolate teams for focused innovation, rotate team members for knowledge sharing, break through organizational apathy, and more.

You’ll explore:

  • Real-world examples that demonstrate why and how organizations reteam
  • Five reteaming patterns: One by One, Grow and Split, Isolation, Merging, and Switching
  • Tactics to help you master dynamic reteaming in your company
  • Stories that demonstrate problems caused by reteaming anti-patterns

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Table of Contents

  1. Foreword by John Cutler
  2. Foreword by Diana Larsen
  3. Preface
    1. Approach
    2. Audience
    3. Participants
    4. O’Reilly Online Learning
    5. How to Contact Us
    6. How to Use This Book
    7. Acknowledgments
  4. I. What Is Dynamic Reteaming?
  5. 1. The Evolution of Teams
    1. Panarchy
  6. 2. Understanding Teams
    1. What Is a Team?
    2. Dynamic Reteaming
      1. Does Dynamic Reteaming Always Work Out?
    3. The Social Dynamic of a Team
      1. As Time Passes, Our Teams Change
  7. 3. The Power of Team Assignment
    1. Someone “At the Top” Put Them on the Team
    2. The Managers Decide the Team Membership
    3. The People Take a Survey to See if They Want to Change Teams
    4. Managers Encourage People to Volunteer for a Team
    5. Managers Arrange Team Self-Selection Events
      1. How A Company Reorged with Self-Selection
    6. Teams Strategize and Form Their Own Team Structures
      1. Reteaming as the Team’s Problem to Solve
      2. Team Members Trade Places, Then Tell Managers
  8. 4. Reduce Risk and Encourage Sustainability
    1. Reteaming Decreases the Development of Knowledge Silos
    2. Reteaming Reduces Team Member Attrition by Providing Career Growth Opportunities
    3. Reteaming Decreases Inter-Team Competition, Fostering a Whole-Team Mentality
    4. Reteaming Yields Teams That Aren’t Ossified, Making It Potentially Easier to Integrate Newcomers
    5. Reteaming Is Going to Happen
  9. II. Dynamic Reteaming Patterns
  10. 5. One-by-One Pattern
    1. Add People to Existing or New Teams?
      1. Seeding Teams
      2. Include Your People in the Organizational Design
      3. Hiring to Sustain Culture and Development Practices
      4. Plan and Communicate about the Arrival of the New Team Member
      5. Get Things Together for the New Hire Before They Arrive
      6. Encourage Managers to Pay Attention and Influence the New Hire
      7. Support the New Hire as Well as the People Around Them
      8. Assign the New Person a Mentor
      9. Use Pair Programming to Onboard New Developers
      10. Encourage Shadowing
      11. Encourage New Hires to Share About Themselves
      12. Form Bootcamps and Help New Hires Form Networks
    2. When People Leave, You Have a New Team
      1. Firing People—When You Reteam Someone Out
      2. When People Leave of Their Own Accord
      3. Saying Goodbye—Do We Announce Departures?
      4. Processing the Fact that Someone Left The Team
      5. The Evolution of People In Our Teams
    3. Pitfalls of the One-by-One Pattern
      1. You Realize You Have an Imbalance of Juniors to Seniors
      2. Mentor Fatigue
      3. Not Visioning Out Career Paths from the Beginning
  11. 6. Grow-and-Split Pattern
    1. Signs That You Might Want to Split Your Team
      1. Are Your Meetings Getting Longer?
      2. Is Decision Making Becoming More Difficult?
      3. Has the Work of the Team Become Unrelated?
      4. Are You Forgetting Who Is on Your Distributed Team?
    2. You’ve Decided to Split, Here’s How to Do It
      1. Include the Team in the Decision
      2. Articulate Why You Are Splitting the Team
      3. Figure Out the Missions of the New Teams
      4. Determine Who Will Go on Each Team
      5. Come Up with a New Seating Plan for the Resulting Teams
      6. Figure out the Team Names
      7. Tell Others About the Resulting Team Assignment
      8. Formally Kick Off the New Teams
    3. Pitfalls of the Grow-and-Split Pattern
      1. Shared People Across Teams
      2. Dealing with Dependencies Between Teams as a Result of the Split
      3. Dragging Out the Split
      4. Not Involving Your Facilities and Technology Groups Early Enough
      5. The Emotional Challenge of Splitting Teams
    4. Larger-Scale Splits
      1. Grow and Split at the Tribe Level
    5. Grow and Split to Drive Code Ownership
    6. What It Means When You’re Asked, “How Do We Maintain Our Culture?”
  12. 7. Isolation Pattern
    1. Isolation to Pivot the Company from Failure
    2. Isolation for New Product Development
    3. Isolation to Spawn New Innovations in an Enterprise
    4. Isolation for Solving Technical Emergencies
    5. Scaling the Isolation Pattern
    6. General Recommendations for the Isolation Pattern
      1. Invite Entrepreneurial People to Join the Team
      2. Tell the Team That It Can Work How It Chooses
      3. Move the Team to Its Own Space
      4. Tell Other Teams to Leave Them Alone
      5. Determine Whether the Team Will Live On, or Fold Back into Other Teams
    7. Pitfalls of the Isolation Pattern
      1. Elitism
      2. What About Maintenance of the Code?
      3. The Thrilling Ride That Comes to an End
  13. 8. Merging Pattern
    1. Merging Teams to Enable Pair Programming Variety
    2. Merging Tribes Together to Form Alliances
    3. Merging at the Company Level
    4. Pitfalls of the Merging Pattern at the Team Level
      1. When You Don’t Calibrate the New, Larger Team
      2. When You Don’t Reset or Facilitate Your New, Larger Meetings
      3. When You Don’t Figure Out How You Will Make Decisions as a Larger Team
    5. Pitfalls of the Merging Pattern at the Company Level
      1. Drawing Out the Layoffs
      2. Ambiguity Around Layoffs
      3. Chaotic Takeovers
  14. 9. Switching Pattern
    1. Switching Pairs Within a Team
    2. Switching Pairs Out Completely for Problem Solving
    3. Switching Teams to Share Knowledge and Support a Feature
    4. Deliberate Switching at a Cadence to Share Knowledge
    5. Rotating Developers for Friendship and Pairing
    6. Switching for Personal Growth and Learning
    7. Pitfalls of the Switching Pattern
      1. The Desire to Hoard Good Team Members
      2. It Can Be Challenging When a Team Member is “On Loan” to Another Team
      3. With Teams Comprised of Single-Specialist Roles, Your Switching Is Limited
  15. 10. Anti-Patterns
    1. Reteaming to Spread “High Performance”
    2. The Percentage Anti-Pattern
    3. Disrupting a Productive Team to Conform to a Standard or Best Practice
    4. Reteaming by Abstraction with Poor Communication
    5. The Impact of Toxic Team Members
    6. Keeping the Toxic Team Together
  16. III. Tactics for Mastering Dynamic Reteaming
  17. 11. Adapt Your Organization for Dynamic Reteaming
    1. Explore Where You Are on the Dynamic Reteaming Ecocycle
    2. Organizational Constraints and Enablers to Reteaming
      1. Collaboration Dynamics that Restrict and Enable Reteaming
      2. Variables That Impact Dynamic Reteaming
    3. Prime the People for Dynamic Reteaming
      1. Incorporate Dynamic Reteaming Into Your Hiring
      2. Cultivate Community
      3. Align on Roles Across Your Teams
  18. 12. Plan Your Dynamic Reteaming Initiative
    1. Create Your Dynamic Reteaming FAQ
      1. What Are the Problems Solved by This Reteaming?
      2. How Will People Get Assigned to Teams?
      3. How Will People Find Out Whether They Have a New Team Assignment?
      4. How Are Existing Teams Impacted in Particular?
      5. How Is Existing Work Impacted?
      6. What Is the Composition of the New Teams?
      7. What Does the Organization Look Like Before and After the Reteaming?
      8. What Technology Systems or Other Equipment Needs to be Updated or Acquired with the Reteaming Initiative?
      9. What Seating or Office Changes Will Take Place Along with the Reteaming?
      10. What Training or Education is Needed with the Reteaming?
      11. What Is the Communication Plan for the Reteaming Initiative?
      12. What Is the Schedule for the Reteaming Initiative?
      13. What is the Feedback Plan for the Reteaming Initiative?
  19. 13. After Dynamic Reteaming: Transitions and Team Calibrations
    1. Coping with Unexpected Dynamic Reteaming
      1. Notice the Triggering, Then Channel Your Thoughts
      2. Talk One-on-One With Leaders About the Change
      3. Get Some Distance—Physically or Mentally
      4. Empathy is Essential when Catalyzing Dynamic Reteaming
    2. Transitions—Coaching People Through Dynamic Reteaming
      1. Talk About the Ending
      2. Mark the Ending with a Ritual
      3. Suggest What to Bring Forward
    3. Team Calibration Sessions
      1. Calibrate on History
      2. Calibrate on People and Roles
      3. Calibrate on Work
      4. Calibrate on Workflow
    4. After Your Team Doubles in Size
      1. Help People “See” the Organizational Growth and Know Each Others’ Names
      2. Help People Find Shared Causes and Form Guilds
      3. Help People Get a Sense of Shared History
      4. Talking about Culture Change Directly
  20. 14. Reflect and Determine How to Shift
    1. Team Retrospectives
    2. Multiteam Retrospectives
    3. Initiative Retrospectives
      1. Resources for Running Retrospectives
    4. One-on-Ones
    5. Survey Tools
    6. Metrics
  21. IV. Conclusion
  22. A. Whiteboards to Enable Open Dynamic Reteaming
    1. Supplies and Artifacts Needed
    2. How to Do It
  23. B. Team Choice Marketplace
    1. Supplies and Artifacts
    2. Location
    3. How to Do It
    4. Variations
    5. Resources
  24. C. Survey Template
  25. Bibliography
  26. Index

Product Information

  • Title: Dynamic Reteaming, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Heidi Helfand
  • Release date: June 2020
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781492061298