Long-living or rather living teams?

Another recurring question I have been running into and have heard heated debate about is whether our cross-functional teams have to be “long-living” (sometimes “forever-living”), i.e. they don’t change their setup and mix of people, or should rather be “living” in the sense of adapting them optimally to the changing tasks at hand. Do you bring teams to work or work to teams?

The Little RascalsAs I had written in my prior blog post before, a well-functioning team is a huge asset. So you don’t kill productivity achieved in such a team light-heartedly by ripping the team apart every now and then for arbitrary reasons. Rebuilding a team and getting it back into a high level of productivity is time-consuming and hence expensive.

At the same time, sticking to an existing team setup just because it’s a functioning team but seeing that the product priorities and goals have over time changed so much the current team setup is more of a misfit than a fit, doesn’t look reasonable either.

So somehow one needs to find a healthy balance between long-living and living team setups. As always, before triggering any change, why not empower those impacted and potentially best knowing what to do ideally, i.e. the teams themselves, and let them work it out on their own? 😉

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