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This chapter is from the book

It takes a whole team to succeed

The basketball player, Bill Walton, said, “Winning is about having the whole team on the same page.” This is as true when building a software product as it is for playing any team sport.

Outside-in thinking has the most positive impact when it is used throughout an organization. Success occurs when technical teams of every specialization, along with managers and executives, all understand and encourage outside-in development. So, whether you are a coder, tester, writer, product planner, team leader, manager, or executive, we expect you’ll find material here that you can use.

A whole-team perspective is essential

We define development team very broadly: We include, of course, coders, testers, technical writers, designers, support engineers, and architects, as well as user interface designers, performance stress testers, and all sorts of other specializations. Importantly, we also include marketers, sales executives, business strategists, product managers, business development specialists, product pricers, other finance types, and services folks as well. In our view, successful software product development is more than simply successful coding. Winning products are built by effective, cross-functional teams.

The stronger your complete team is the more fun you’ll have and the more successful your product will be.

Realistically, though, some teams are stronger than others, and some teams are not strong at all. If you feel that’s the situation in your development shop, don’t despair. Instead, use a conversation about outside-in development techniques as a way to generate more whole-team behavior, or to help your colleagues get excited about making some changes that will improve your product. We’ve seen for ourselves that small successes often lead to enthusiasm for additional changes. In fact, culture change in any organization, large or small, seems to happen best when it is driven from individuals, taking their own opportunities to demonstrate leadership, and driving incremental and positive change through their teams.

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