|Scaling Teams: Strategies for Building Successful Teams|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
Authors: David Loftesness and Alexander Grosse
This book is aimed at team leaders who are in charge of rapidly growing teams, and looks at how to keep sane while your team expands.
Because it's aimed at team leaders and managers, this isn't a particularly technology-oriented title. However, it does have some interesting insights for those of you building your own teams.
The book starts with a section on hiring with chapters on growing the team; interviews and hiring decisions; and how to close, on-board, and move onwards. As with the rest of the book, the material in this section might seem like a lot of it is obvious. However, as anyone who's moved companies knows, good techniques might be obvious but they're often ignored.The book is easy to read, with mini case-study sections on the experiences of people; warning signs to look for; and a nice selection of additional resources to read more about the subject of the chapter.
Next come a couple of chapters on people management, starting with a chapter on how to move from a situation where a company or team is small enough not to need management layers, to one where managers are necessary.
The second chapter on people management looks at what should happen when the company gets even larger and you need to manage people at scale.
Three chapters on scaling the organization come next. A chapter on design principles is dedicated to advice on structuring an organization so that hiring more people gets more work done - something that most developers know is by no means certain. This is followed by a chapter on delivery teams and how to organize them. The section finishes with a chapter on how to organize your reporting structure.
A chapter on how to scale the culture of your original organization is next, with some interesting ideas about the difference between values and culture. This is followed by two chapters on how to scale communications, looking at problems caused by an organization growing. The book ends with a round-up on overall scaling of teams.
For a book aimed at effective management, this was a surprisingly lucid read. The examples make sense, the advice is sensible, and while there's a certain amount of management-speak, it doesn't get in the way. If you're in charge of a team that's growing, it's worth a read.