Health Check season is over for this quarter, and one of the items that came out of some of my teams was that our Speed of Delivery should be improved. This came from the team itself, reflecting on their previous quarter, not from (add upper, middle or top as you please) management.
The first feeling one gets when faced with this problem is:
we need to speed up
I like to think of the opposite.
I believe that to speed up we must first slow way way down.
When I was a teenager I was crazy about speed. I used to get together with my friends, go watch street racing and try to tune our cars and squeeze the most out of it. One thing you learn very quickly is, if you have a sh#$%ty car, well, there is a limit of what you can do. You can spend huge amounts of money on that little piece of scrap, but eventually it will break down. What you should do instead is to invest that money in another car.
But we were teenagers. There was no way we were going to slow down and think, or have the money to buy another car. The reaction mode was always on. What we should have done was slow down. To think about how to save some money and maybe, spend that to set up a good foundation first. Something that would allow us to grow after, like a better car.
With teams, it is very similar. To speed up we must slow down first. Step back. Think. Reflect on why we’ve gotten slow. Then spend time setting up a foundation from where to grow and speed up.
We can start by just gluing a rocket engine to the back of each team member’s, they will fly for sure, for a bit at least, going in whatever direction the wind throws them. Or, spend the time creating a structure that will get everyone together, properly strap the engines to that, and the team will fly further.
If you want to go fast go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.