Excellent metaphor for teamworking at the I’ve Got Something to Say About That… blog. Hadley uses tessellations to discuss team composition and how team members adapt to one another. Here’s an excerpt:
A well-organised team with clear ways of working together and expectations for each other. While the new person, in black, will have to adapt to fit into the team, they should have a fairly easy time of it due to the clarity in the existing team.
In contrast, this picture below shows a chaotic team with no coherence. The new person has no idea how the members are working together, let alone how to join them. The best he/she can do is to pick an outside edge (anybody’s!) and start there, try to connect with everyone in due course and build up a shape of their own to fit the odd structure already there. If you’re the new person, it’s a much less fun scenario.
A team with no coherence or organisation, attempting to incorporate a new person. This scenario is hard for the newcomer, as the team’s ways of working are unclear and even communication between the existing members doesn’t appear to be guaranteed. How should the newcomer adapt themselves?
Hadley’s post provides a good perspective on the experience of new members joining existing teams. New team members can begin contributing quickly when it is fairly obvious how they fit into the existing structure. However, if teams resemble a scrambled jigsaw puzzle, it will be hard for new members to find their place.
Read the entire post here.