One of the key things for any product is to clearly understand the problem your customers are facing that they want your product to help them with.
Key pain points in many, many organisations are:
Do I have the right number of people to do the work we need to do?
- Too many makes things unsustainable and people may be unfulfilled.
- Too few means that things won’t get done and people will burn out.
- An uneven spread means that both problems exist at the same time - with excess capacity in some areas and bottlenecks in others. Work only gets delivered at the pace of the bottleneck so excess capacity before and after the bottleneck is waste.
Are the people I have, the right people?
- This traditionally means putting teams together around the work - a laborious process of finding people with the right skills and availability when you need them (often urgently and, perversely, often easier to achieve by hiring in contractors with specific skills while lacking organisational knowledge).
- Finding people within an organisation generally only uses one “lens” from which to view them - the organisational structure or hierarchy. This relies on the searcher having knowledge of the organisation and/or the specific person they want to find. Finding an unknown person with particular attributes that are not tied to a specific position within the hierarchy is often a goose chase.
How can I consistently assess team performance?
- Continually forming and disbanding teams around initiatives makes it hard to develop and retain a body of institutional knowledge around the systems developed in those initiatives (both in what was delivered and in how it was delivered). It also means that it is hard to assess, from a team perspective, what led to success or failure. The typical response is to only assess performance at an individual level which is much less useful as environmental conditions often impact performance more than a person’s competence. As Deming said “a bad system will beat a good person every time”.
- Performance metric reporting often relies on separate data sources that are collated and crunched in manually maintained spreadsheets - consuming effort and time, creating potential errors, and building in a lag between data and insights.
There are more problems that are in TeamForm's scope, but that's probably enough to give you a feel for what TeamForm is looking to solve. Let me know what you think.