To be a team

Product development teams are a fun bunch. When it clicks and there’s flow across the team….that is super special. I always love going back to old team working agreements, team values, and team principles. Sometimes they don’t stand the test of time. And sometimes they still ring clear!

Old team “reminders”. I really like these (even in retrospect):

Team Reminders

Note: This is a living document. Nothing is set in stone

  • It’s OK to get angry and say stupid shit. Don’t be a permanent asshole
  • Think about what you actually want (and why you want it)
  • We all have something to teach. We all have something to learn
  • Try not to leave work angry. Work it out if you can
  • Cutting corners is almost never worth it. Don’t leave booby traps
  • Outcomes over output. Impact over quantity and speed.
  • If we were all replicas of each other, work would be really boring
  • Take care of yourself! Eat well. Stay home when you’re sick. Pace yourself
  • Whenever possible, show don’t tell. Specificity beats platitudes
  • Respect each other’s time, and respect each other’s energy
  • Sometimes we all get together and work in the same room (referred to as “meetings”)
  • If we’re not proud of our work, something is wrong. Speak up!
  • Discipline, responsibility, and accountability are part of the craft. Make sure these words don’t get abused and polluted
  • Before thinking “more process” check for trust
  • Laugh and have fun. We’re making stuff! How cool is that?



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John Cutler

Multiple hat-wearer. Prod dev nut. I love wrangling complex problems and answering the why with qual/quant data. @johncutlefish on Twitter.