perjantai 28. lokakuuta 2011

Pecking order and crane flogs.

I just read a interesting article about software teams and pecking order.

Even though it is said in the article that software teams aren't like sport teams or flocks, I want to share a view from one ice-hockey coach, Hannu Aravirta. He described his management style to be flying in V-formation, like flock of cranes. The person who is in the front of the formation is changed regularly to give breathing time for everyone. Even though in ice-hockey team (in this case, national team of Finland) there is a formal ranking given by the organization, everyone will take turns in the front of the flock. And everyone must lead the flock in the same direction.

In real world, the rotation is not random, though. The stronger birds might be in the front for a longer time (I'm not sure if this is true). This happens also in the context of software development. The flock, or team, will face variety of problems and issues. Some of those are technical, some are business related, and so on. So it should be the person who has the best capabilities to resolve the current issue who is in front of the flock, giving the direction where to go.

Like all analogies, this isn't complete. It gives an impression that the current leader of the flock will make all decisions alone, which is not the case.