The importance of Teamwork

September 30, 2010
Written by anjalimittal

I mentioned last week that one of the important factors when going through a major change is need to ensure that everyone works together, i.e. the importance of teamwork

I know this can be challenging; some people respond badly to change and lose their motivation, and this can also have the effect of putting more work on other members of the team.

Sometimes, during major change programmes, people are put in a position where they are competing with colleagues for their jobs, or for a promotion. In these circumstances, with livelihoods at stake, it can be very difficult to maintain good working relationships. I’ve seen cases where people spend more time undermining their colleagues than doing their actual job. Unsurprisingly, these individuals don’t usually prosper.

Teamwork is an important consideration when recruiting new people to the team. It’s not always possible to tell from an interview how well someone will interact with the rest of the team, but I always make a point of asking candidates what teamwork means for them, and for examples of contributions they have made to a team. This usually gives some insight into how they’re likely to fit in.

I’ve always felt that IT is different to other departments in respect of teamwork. Perhaps it’s because there is such a wide variety of different skills needed to make IT work properly, or the expectation that IT people (in infrastructure teams particularly) need to work late and give up their time at weekends to get things done. It just seems that IT people, generally, are more engaged with what they do, and care about the end result.

It’s certainly my experience that IT teams can do amazing things if everyone works together. As someone once said “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

This, in my view, should be the motto of every IT Department and IT Project Board in existence!