One of the first tasks of someone that wants to build a good team is understanding a little bit about what makes a team successful elsewhere.
Also, while observing, there must be a conscious knowledge that a strong correlation may not mean a relationship of causality.
A small team is a factor seen in most successful teams. Teams with 9 members or less seem to be in general more successful than larger teams. The team size has a strong relationship with a good team.
The real cause for this lays in the easiness to manage the communication between the individuals. As the size increases, it is increasingly difficult to manage a good link with the other team members.
To have good communication within the team, it is very important that the members of the team know who is in the team and who is out.
This is related directly with the concept of pigs and chickens seen in Scrum. The pigs are the committed team members. They are onboard with the team. The chickens may help, but they are not in.
The pigs need to know who the pigs are, and the chickens need to know who they are. It may seem silly, but the lack of clear delimitation of these boundaries for the team will do more harm than any perceived good.
People on the team should form a real team. They should want to be on the team, and they need a common goal.
This goal is going to be the glue that will get the team moving together. Without it, the team members will show a natural tendency to follow their own paths. And if everyone just follows their own interests, there is no teamwork possible.
To achieve a common goal, there are many paths. To common goal can come from a leader, from the team itself, from an outside element, etc. What is most important is that pushing to set a common goal is a difficult job.
Setting goals demand taking responsibility. And taking responsibility can be a risky action and demands emotional involvement.
To be continued…