Peak Performance Teams:
Beyond Meeting Expectations
Cultural fit is a key element to ensure an ideal work environment. In addition to a solid technical background, new recruits must match the cultural identity of your company. This marks the difference between just completing a task, and fulfilling the unexpected needs of your clients.
Here’s how we do it at Nearsoft.
Your company has an identity, your organizational culture has been nurtured over time into one powerful know-how. At Nearsoft we pride ourselves in creating seamless team extensions for our clients.
We are good at this because we have come to understand our company’s cultural identity. Our teams embrace self-management, Agile practices, and accountability. Although goals or expectations might change, that is ok, because as teams we evolve together.
It’s so natural for our teams to understand and exceed the needs of our clients that we’re developing the Peak Performance framework. This is a process that has involved the whole Nearsoftian Community, people with expertise ranging from Software Development to Organizational Psychology.
Based on this experiment we are able to consistently deliver to our clients.
The Peak Performance Teams Framework
While we have achieved long-term relationships with most of our clients, our success wasn’t necessarily designed. Let’s say we had best practices, Agile methodologies and our heart in the right place. But to take the next step and continue growing we needed all our teams to be in sync and share the same mindset.
The idea is for autonomous teams to move from fulfilling expectations to meeting our clients’ unrecognized needs. And that’s a lot. We don’t just want to deliver great products, we want to take a leap ahead and add value to our client’s businesses.
Developing a Teamwork Mindset
The Peak Performance Framework process has several stages, making sure to develop a teamwork mindset that enables a team to take ownership of their growth strategy.
The six stages are,
- Onboarding: an informative session, answering every question the team has.
- Evaluation: The team self evaluates themselves in all 30 attributes
- Results: the support team presents a result document
- Planning: the team prioritize and plan their next action items
- Execution: the team acts on and tracks their performance
- Retrospective: the team has a retrospective session and re-evaluates to iterate the process
It is a continuous iteration that keeps teams setting new goals together making sure they are always aligned with our client’s business model.
5 Lessons in Team Building
- Invest in the success of your product, not just finishing our assigned tasks
- Make sure new additions to the team have a smooth integration
- Seek a deeper knowledge of your product and how the market is behaving
- Keep raising the bar, there is always something that can be improved
- Build long-term relationships as an integral part of your core business model
Growing your team is a big decision, seeking a cultural match definitely is the way to go.
The 4 Key Elements of Cultural Fit
Many factors come into play when working with a new team. Sharing values and having the right disposition are needed to get there.
To find out what the most important elements of cultural fit are we asked ourselves a question,
“What does exceeding client expectations look like?”
We took the whole Nearsoftian experience into account by facilitating several focus groups and we were able to prioritize four main key elements,
- Orientation to Goals
Here’s the breakdown with statements to evaluate each key element and real life examples of how our clients live them.
- The team knows how and when to push back by voicing their opinions and proposing alternative solutions.
- Relevant information is shared within the team in a timely matter.
This team of Nearsoftians is among the best developers I have ever worked with in my entire Project Management career. They are the kind of developers any Project Manager would want on their team – they collaborate and communicate issues when necessary, go above and beyond to help their teammates, and have a team first attitude. Not only that, but they ALWAYS deliver on their commitments with Quality. In addition, the thing that really sticks out to me about them is their attitude when being pulled from sprint work (and commitments) to assist on critical defects like the current sprint that we are in. They had 0 complaints and took on the defects with gusto which was greatly appreciated.
—Omar Kaif, Former SkyTouch Technology, Project Manager
- The team is quick to hold one another accountable when an agreement is not honored.
- The team detects performance risks and does not hesitate to take preventative action.
The SRI team within Switchfly is a maintenance team dedicated to tackling bugs. They noticed a bunch of bugs in the backlog that had been IDLE for a long time, which caused the list of bugs to grow. The SRI team organized itself to tackle this issue in order to have a clean bug list. Everyone on the team assigned themselves 5 bugs to resolve or research. After the resolution, they reduced the list from 93 to 67.
This is an example of how we, as a team, can have an impact by taking ownership of the product and taking care of our client.
This became an important update in the Switchfly GSS weekly update from John Nakano,
“SRI backlog reduced to 67 from 93. Great work by the SRI team who focused on a backlog bug smash!” Great job, Team!
In one of our teams dedicated to the maintenance of tackling bugs. They’ve noticed a bunch of bugs in the backlog that had been IDLE for a long time, this caused the list of bugs to grow. They organized themselves to tackle this issue on more than one occasion in order to have a clean bug list. Everyone chips in and assigns themselves a number of bugs to resolve or research. Managing to reduce the list significantly each time. This is an example of how we, as a team, can have an impact by taking ownership of the product and taking care of our client.
Orientation to Goals
- The team identifies opportunities to increase value and takes steps toward making it a reality.
- The team defines objectives and continuously achieves collective results.
As a team, they recently worked through a very complicated upgrade of code for one of our products, getting it done in just two sprints. This was no small effort and the team had to work together very closely to ensure it was done on time. This speaks to how well this team works together, and how willing they are to even take on ugly challenges.
—Ashley White SkyTouch Technology, Technical Project Manager
- The team has regular practices that go beyond work, generating a cohesion that results in wanting to work together.
- The team applies the same Peak Performance Team practices with the client team as they do with the Nearsoft team.
We have clients that due to the trust we have build have let us take over the recruiting part of new members of the team, they just let us know when new positions are open and we take care of the rest.
Our partners at Points trust so much in their Nearsoft team they have asked them to take a day off to invest it a Peak Performance Team evaluation. The program has been so well received, they even want to try it themselves in the near future.
Points also have a Team Building Week, this came to be because they visited us during one of our own and saw the value in this practice.
Want to know more about Peak Performance Teams?
Email the People Development Team at: [email protected] and we can set up a call.
Are You Ready to Work with Nearsoft?
We are aware that organizations are always evolving and maturing over time, this is why culture is an essential part sustainable business growth. This is what we are pursuing with the Peak Performance Team framework.
Because we prioritize on this, we are a fit for your company.
Does this sound like you? Like the team you would want to work with?