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Aleix Morgadas
Aleix Morgadas

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What means "High Performing Team" to you?

I have been using to the term High Performance Performing Team when debating with team-mates and friends about performing, way of working, and so on.

After a while, we realized that we were meaning different things when we were thinking about a High Performing Team.

I would like to know what means High Performing Team to you, which are the characteristics and how do you identify them.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions! (/^▽^)/

Edit: Replaced Performance by Performing due to a misunderstanding 😓

Top comments (9)

aleixmorgadas profile image
Aleix Morgadas • Edited

I will start giving my 5 cents 😁

How I understand what's a High Performing Team is a team that shares at least 3 attributes within the framework of collaboration:

  1. Trust between team members
  2. Growth and Learning abilities
  3. Delivers


Why only those 3 attributes? Because each team performs differently depending on the context. Is it not the same work in a product company vs a consultancy company, but I consider that those 3 attributes are the main drivers that helped me identify or aim to be part of a high performing team.

  1. Why Trust?. From trust we can be vulnerable, from there we can express how we feel, the things that we might not like, the things we might like, and so on. With Trust, you can be yourself and the team can be themselves. You cannot perform when pretending to be someone which isn't you.

  2. Why learning and growing?. With continuous learning you improve, you adapt and you overcome the difficult situations. Long story short, you learn from your mistakes.

  3. Why delivery?. You need an objective as a team, knowing where you want to go, what do you want to create. Without delivery, there's no path, you are not aligned. As a team, you're lost, and the efforts you make are meaningless. At some point, you lose confidence and motivation as a team, and as an individual.

The key factor is that it happens within the framework of collaboration, if there's no collaboration, then the competition comes into play, and it let into the opposite of what we would like to expect as an outcome of the team.

What do you think? 🤔

raulvvh profile image

While I can totally share your view, I am missing at least two core capabilities or attributes withing the definition of a high performance team: resilient to change and ability to measure.

The first one is very important not only when your plans need to change but also when the capacity / resources of the team are altered in some way (Eg. people leaving or joining)

The second one is more related to effectiveness. You can be very aligned, be incredibly efficient in your work and, unluckily, do the wrong thing. Know about the impact of your work and you will know about how to better focus on what really matters and how to approach your problems / hipothesys in the most effective way.

iamschulz profile image
Daniel Schulz

I think having a High Performance Team can be very problematic for a few reasons.
It builds competition to other teams. If you're the high performance one, does it mean that other teams perform lowly? Who gets to decide to is a high performing employee?
Also, you don't perform the same every day. When you're having a bad day, do you still belong in the team?
Also also, it's a way to enable your management to encourage overtime, sacrificing your free time to programming and so on. That might put a lot of pressure on you and/or feel discouraging to other employees.

Disclaimer: I don't know your background. It still might very out for you. Just think of the implications before :)

sarafian profile image
Alex Sarafian

In my opinion quality of work. All else can follow, if the team has a quality oriented mindset and delivers on it. A quality oriented team will take care by itself continuity, automatation etc as things change in time.

aleixmorgadas profile image
Aleix Morgadas

A discussion happening at Twitter

Does it really make sense to define High Performance Teams?

If collaboration is the main driver, does the definition move the team away from the collaboration?

jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

Sounds like a term from management to induce a culture of pressure. Why not "high quality team"?

aleixmorgadas profile image
Aleix Morgadas • Edited

I would like to find a term that isn't as biased as High Performance, it has a lot of assumptions of what performance means and we should expect of.

It might let into burnouts and long working hours because of the expectation of only delivery.

I am expecting that a team should be resilient to not let them into burnouts, and be able to delivery within working hours for example. If that term is used to put pressure to the team, I totally oppose to that.

"High quality team" is an option, still I think it's up to the team to decide what means quality to them in their given context. But yep, I would prefer to not use "performance", and "quality" seem to be a good candidate 😊

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us ^_^.

jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

There is one thing that also bothers me on any name that describes a team beyond their working context: it implies, that there are teams that are not working high quality or high performance.

Developing quality software should be a process that applies for all teams in the company, embracing an environment for every team to thrive.

Some further reading on this:

Thread Thread
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski • Edited

Wow, such a great article. A lot of quotes that ive been repeating for the past... forever, which seems to be impossible to understand for the other side.

I have my own saying from 10+ year career.

If there is only one thing known about the project, its usually the deadline.