I’ve been giving the question of why software teams fail some considerable thought in the past few days. Reading Brad Abrams’ post Don’t Waste Keystrokes and his statement that “By far the biggest problem I see on teams of > 1 is communication” led me to compile the following list. Here are some of the reasons, in addition to the most important one that Brad pointed out already, that a software team, or any team really, fails:
- The team does not practice regularly, no coordinated learning.
- The coach does not know the strengths and weaknesses of the players.
- The players do not know their role, their zone or the plays.
- The players do not get along, they are not one in purpose.
- The players do not trust or respect the coaching staff.
- The coaching staff puts players with no skill on the starting lineup for unknown reasons causing resentment amongst the other players and guaranteeing a loss at game time.
- The players do not believe the coaching staff understand the game.
- The players are more focused on individual agendas, they do not work together to win.
- The rules of the game are not well understood and change during the game.
- The coaching staff and team captains disagree on how the game should be played.
- The coaching staff recruits new players looking for players who will agree with their ideas rather than seeking out players who can actually play.
- The players fail to improve their skills on their own time.
- The players lack motivation and fail to come to practice and give only a half-hearted effort in the game.
- The team captain spends more time arguing with the coaching staff than he does leading and motivating the players.
- Winning becomes secondary to just finishing the season.
If you can think of any others, please let me know. And if you have ideas for how to fix these situations, I would love to hear from you as well.