IT Management Slideshow: 10 Ways to Build Lean, Agile Teams

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-27-2012

Define success early.

Create measurable standards to meet customer and stakeholder expectations: work output achieved, market share gained, etc.

Define success early.

Ask for specifics.

What people have done will always trump what they say they can do.

Ask for specifics.

Look for “segmented competencies.”

Candidates typically need 3 to 6 distinct competencies for an assignment, and 15 to 30 for a full-time job with multiple assignments.

Look for “segmented competencies.”

Consider “optimized” staffing alternatives.

If a contractor can get a specific job done better, it will free up full-timers for what they do best.

Consider “optimized” staffing alternatives.

Encourage bottom-up input on optimized staffing.

Those in the trenches should know what kind of hired-gun skillset will get the job done.

Encourage bottom-up input on optimized staffing.

Scrutinize validity of certifications.

Ask: What knowledge was gained? How it was obtained? What kind of assessments were done?

Scrutinize validity of certifications.

“Play favorites.”

If you're constantly hiring skilled, agile employees from certain sources, continue to use them to recruit.

“Play favorites.”

Use past experience to align your teams.

Use your employees' demonstrated strengths and weaknesses to guide future assignments.

Use past experience to align your teams.

Ban “below average/average/above average.”

Stress "seldom/sometimes/always" to evaluate assignment-driven goals.

Ban “below average/average/above average.”

“Open up the tent” for evaluations.

Encourage internal/external customers and team members to provide input on reviews.

“Open up the tent” for evaluations.