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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

The Ideal Team Member


Recently I went through quite a lot different project and organizational problems. Someone needed additional person in one project. Someone else needed support in another. There were some other issues with a couple of people.

One interesting observation – it is all about people.

Almost every issue starts with people. Basically every one of them is solved with people. So yes, it’s going to be about people. Again.

There’s an interesting pattern I see in our behavior. When times get rough and we need help we tend to turn for help to people, but not just any people we have at hand. There’s a very specific group of people we usually ask for help.

Those who we can count on.

When we’re looking for a helping hand we take into consideration those who are the best possible option, that’s for sure. But then when the problem is serious and/or urgent we don’t want to lose time trying to convince someone to help us. We prefer to turn into second best or third best option, but the one who doesn’t have any problem with commitment.

Yes, in terms of choosing the best source of knowledge it may be a suboptimal choice, but in terms of solving the issue as soon as possible it is usually the best way to go. After all, we somehow learned to act that way. Those who were waiting for the gurus to find time to solve their issues starved to death and are extinct.

So if you asked me how to define the ideal team member in five words I’d go with: “one who you can count on.” Um, I think it ends with six words but I’d go with this definition anyway.

Now, the trick for managers – people with this helping hand attitude may end up dealing with every single issue around because of the sole fact they are accountable. If you’re lucky enough to lead this kind of people remember to give them a break, not overload and appreciate them. But that’s a completely different story.

in: team management

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