A team is working in the office near mine, I hear their buzz and I observe their interactions through the glass wall. I catch a glimpse of great teamwork: they are knitted together, looking at the result of their effort.
On an impulse, I take a series of pictures with my iPhone: I will use them to show how a real team works.
In the evening I look at the photos, a series of 6, and I read a different story: while 3 people are focusing on the same material, one person’s attention is continuously shifting and the last member is physically detached and always looking within a personal zone.
I’m disappointed and yet, I’ve gathered valuable information, which will help me in building the team.
But my key learning point is the importance of obtaining unbiased data, which are objective, like the lens that convey light to the camera sensor.
For people working with projects a striking example is provided by the practice of estimating: why are we insisting in the habit of asking the person who will perform the task?
In fact, it is everybody’s experience that actuals gathered in this way never match the estimates. It is far better to use historical data, industry standards or software modelling.
To support our decision-making, we must employ tools that we can trust.
Trust is a serious matter and human beings are not very reliable.