Often times, organisations make investments in technology through projects that aim to develop information technology products with specific outcomes and aim to achieve those outcomes in a set period of time.

Obviously, its people that build technology products and as such, positions need to be filled by people with a fitting set of attributes. This most often results in somebody spending time determining what the required skills are, which people are right for the job and most importantly, how to create a good team mix.

It is difficult to consider all the possible variables when putting people together and have them quickly become a fit for purpose, high performing team.

In my view, a successful team is a team that loves the product they are building, believe that the problem they are solving is worth solving, have the right environment and there is alignment between their individual passions, ambitions and skills.

If you are in staffing and find yourself asking; “Who would be the right person to fill this position?”, this is for you.

The hypothesis is:

Since the selection of people with the needed attributes for the job is a repeatable task, it can be programmed using a set of heuristics and can help build high performing teams.

How is it a repeatable task?

In order to answer this question, I refer to what I call the “Type trilogy”. A product will most certainly always have 3 attributes. The people who do the work, the project that aims to develop the product and the organisation that invests in the product.

There are types of people, types of projects and types of organisations, hence, the “Type trilogy”. Now let’s dig into the characteristics that go into defining a type.

People have ideals, passions, ambitions, skills and a way of being/personality 

Projects aim to solve a problem, using technology, by developing a product. Because projects are sub-organisations of their own, they have a modus operandi based on a set of criteria.

Organisations generate revenue by providing value to the market. They have values that they live by,  a mission that they want to achieve, a vision for the future, a culture and often times specialise in a particular field

How can it be programmed?

The people that staff projects use a combination of data and intuition to determine the right fit. I would like to believe that it is more data based than it is intuition. This makes data an important component in this determination.
This data about people, projects and organisations already exists in a digital format somewhere whether it be a system, a spreadsheet or a slide deck. if this was fed into a system so that it can be processed, a system can begin to make recommendations about how a project team should look. This follows three distinct stages.
1. Collecting the data:
This is where we collect data that is important for us to be able to create a high performing team. This could be composed of heuristics like:
  • personality type, values, ideals, likes, dislikes, vision for the future, passions, weaknesses, strengths,  and technical skills amongst other things for people.
  • the product being developed, the problem being solved, metrics for success, governance structures, anticipated benefits, development practices and the technology stack amongst other things for projects.
  • the organisational culture, levels of employee satisfaction, diversity and inclusion, the vision, the mission, contribution to the world and the field/domain amongst other things for organisations.
2. Processing the data:

This is where we let computers do what they do best and process data at high speeds, identifying combinations and patterns in the provided data. The main question to be answered being, “What would make a good person-project-organisation match”

3. Making recommendations out of the data:
This is where we can use previous results to make recommendations. This is where we can test data and pattern based hypothesis to learn new things and improve recommendations.
This is where we can start to make determinations like:
  • a person with these skills, personality, passions and ambitions will most likely fit well in a project that is shaped like this.
  • a project that aims to achieve this most likely will need this type of person
  • an organisation that is shaped like this most likely will be a good environment for a person that is shaped like this
Looking the type of person, project and organisation, this combination of people are most likely to deliver expected results optimally and have fun while they are at it.
Atta-team, knock it out the park!

How can this help build high performing teams?

Well, now that we have all the data and have made recommendations about how the team should be shaped, we predict a good result. What happens if we get those results? What happens if we don’t?
The big question is, What is a high performing team?
A good way to measure this is satisfaction, what the expected result was vs what it actually was and then to have a look at how the recommendation was made.
This would include activities like:
  • collecting more data in order to measure performance of team in relation to the performance of recommendations
  • learning from data and improving the model, monitoring the performance of recommendations throughout the project (client satisfaction, progress and quality of product)
  • making tweaks to improve it using the data collected
  • monitoring performance when new variables are introduced (changing team mix)

Lets create great teams, all the time. 


12,629 thoughts on “Building high performing teams through technology