For IT teams achieving high performance, it can often mean a two or three or even ten-fold improvement in performance versus the results of a mediocre team. As an IT leader you should strive to mature your team to work in a high performance manner. Here are the principles of a high performance team:
- Do it right the first time – The only way to achieve sustained high quality is to do things right the first time. You must plan, engineer, inspect, implement and verify with intellect and diligence to ensure your work is the best it can be. Where you have critical tasks that cannot be attended to with diligence, escalate to the team and management, and leaders must ensured they are addressed as a team.
- Be stewards of your processes – Become a knowledgeable professional fully aware of the state, value, and potential of the activities for which you or your team are responsible. Demonstrate a level of initiative and willingness to exercise improvement. Leaders must ensure the team knows they are empowered to fix and improve their processes.
- Leverage metrics and score cards – Use a results-oriented, metrics based approach to assess progress, identify issues and define initiatives. Leaders use facts and business case logic to decide directions and make adjustments. This allows teams to quickly modify their tactics, improve their results and drive for longer term solutions that lift performance to much greater degree.
- Hold yourselves accountable and responsible – As a team, you should work to prioritise the important activities and initiatives that align to your strategic aspirations. Publish these goals and their measures, and then hold appropriate parties responsible for delivery. The team is empowered and the team must also be held accountable. Leaders should hold themselves to personal account and take ownership for the things they have committed to delivering. Similarly, vendors and support partners should be held to the same high bar as the team.