Our team is comprised of 3 dedicated developers, 1 project manager, 1 dedicated product owner and a trusty task board. Although, we’re a small team we’ve been successful, and so far we have been able to out perform the competition (in a surprisingly short amount of time).
One of those reasons is because of how “tight” (read:close) the team is. What I mean is that we’re completely open with each other, which has allowed us to really gel as a team. We have our good days and bad days, but overall I feel like I can honestly depend on my team mates, and likewise.
We all make the same salary, and have the same amount of shares. There’s no super heroes on our team. We all have strengths and our weaknesses, but there’s no sense that any one of us feels like we are obligated to outperform one another. We’re judged based on team performance rather than individual performance.
“The problem with reviews is that most reviews and raises are based on individual goals and achievements, but XP focuses on team performance. If a programmer spends half of his time pairing with others, how can you evaluate his individual performance? How much incentive does he have to help others if he will be evaluated on individual performance?” - Kent Beck from Extreme Programming Explained
Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (2nd Edition) (The XP Series)
by Kent Beck, Cynthia Andres
Read more about this book...
Depending on the day, we each step up to lead the team. There’s no water cooler discussions about why a member of the team makes x dollars, while I make x - 20K. We’re either performing or not, and call each other out when we’re not.
So far, this has helped our team gel.