A phrase that is being used a lot north of the 49th parallel is compete level. Usually the term is used to talk about the level of effort by hockey teams. Another phrase that is also used in being ‘hard on the puck’. Basically both of these phrases try to communicate the level of effort that the team is displaying. In Winnipeg especially, losing is OK if everyone is displaying effort. Losing is OK, not trying is not.
Translation to Software Development
So then I started to think about how this translates to Software Development projects. My favourite and best project has always been those where our level of compete is very high. We have been very hard on the puck. We don’t think about whose responsibility that loose puck is, we all collapse on the puck/issue – high compete, hard on the puck.
These are terms very familiar to Agile teams. We have cross-functional teams because the teams can be more reactive to issues. Agile also stresses Client Focus as that focus will usually result in a higher compete level. If we care about the client and their requirements, chances are we will care more and go into the corners to get the puck and resolve issues.
Once you start to form defined roles it is easier to lessen your complete level. Perhaps there is the thought that my zone is back here and it is the centre’s responsibilities to get the puck in the high slot. I’ll just wait back here until the issue is resolved and someone gets the puck for me.
Relentless pressure and effort can overcome most obstacles.
What is your team’s compete level?