A properly set up, feedback driven, blended CI team has the potential to bring purpose to the entire organization, while at the same time break down walls between different teams and departments.
Respect each other’s agendas
In the context of blended teams and CI, talking about a team often refers to a virtual team with at least a few members allocated to multiple tasks or projects. This makes correct planning and having efficient processes in place all the more important. All members have to respect both the main events of the process as well as each other’s agendas.
Create a business value focused mindset
Certain team members may need to get accustomed to the required mindset. One that’s always focused on business value. But with CI the end goal is to reduce waste and increase customer value, so they have to be able to put their own personal preferences aside, regardless if this concerns their favourite development framework, personal aversion against sticky headers, or a long-cherished wish for Slack as a communication tool. These preferences can be considered of course, but only if a case can be made that shows, or at least predicts, measurable business value.
Nurture constructive criticism
A properly functioning blended CI team demands an open, respectful, and constructive atmosphere. Asking how any new project or initiative will lead to increased conversion and business value should be perfectly normal and accepted in any conversation. Constructive criticism needs to be nurtured.
Advocate the good work
Last but not least, team members should be prepared to spend some of their time on advocating their work within the organization. The main task of the product owner will be talking to all the stakeholders, finding out their concerns, motivating them to provide feedback, in addition to making successes visible to everyone. Other team members should also make themselves available if people comment on the program, have any questions, or want to bring an important issue to the team’s attention. This ensures the CI team becomes firmly embedded in the organization.
Having a genuine interest in people’s daily struggles, showing commitment to solve these issues, and sharing both successes and failures, is what makes the sum of the team’s efforts so valuable. Simply looking at all the individual improvements combined doesn’t tell the complete story in this case.