So we landed in this crappy team that wasn’t able to deliver anything on time. Fortunately we were aware of our mediocrity and knew tools that helped us to pursue evolutionary change. We started experimenting, improving this and that. Step by step the reality around was becoming better. Eventually we honed our methods and practices in a way that nothing else was left to improve. That’s why our evolutionary change effort faded into oblivion. We did good job. We felt well.
Well, it shouldn’t. At least not the whole story.
When I think about teams that aren’t yet great (which means almost every team by the way) one method of classifying them is by their improvements effort. Many of them are happy with status quo and they aren’t changing anything. They’re doomed. Fortunately there’s also a second group – teams that are willing to evolve and can show it in the field.
This is the point where predicting future becomes a bit more interesting. Let’s assume that such team not only does have will to improve but also have tools and methods to do so. What more, they are consistent too. Eventually they should get better and better and most, if not all, of their pains should be addressed. The initial root cause for evolutionary change would fade away. Would that mean that they’d stop changing?
I guess the nature already gave us an answer, which is “hell, no!” Organisms don’t stop evolving even when they adjust to any challenges they had to face in one point of time. Why? Because the whole darn world has changed in the meantime. There are brand new problem that they have to face and old tactics don’t work that well anymore.
The same happens with teams. The best ones would be aware enough, knowledgeable enough and consistent enough to address all the issues they face in one point of time. However their environment will change as well. Someone would leave or join the team. They would start working for a new challenging client or on a new difficult project. There would some dumb or brilliant management moves. Something would happen.
So while I can agree that the goal of evolutionary changes is to make these changes not needed I don’t know teams that achieved and sustained this equilibrium. It means that the goal of evolutionary changes is never reached, thus the need for it never disappears.