Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Youth Soccer Project Pattern

Have you ever seen a soccer/football game played by 5 year olds?

The Youth Soccer Project Pattern is an observation I've seen, regarding how the members of a project will run around as one big pack, chasing the ball all over the field in committees. In this environment, there also tend to be lots of soccer moms yelling praises at the sidelines (AKA project managers). There might one or two young stars that can make their way through the mess. And there's also bound to be one or two kids that are just hanging out in some corner of the field, picking daisies. In software projects those are often the testers that haven't been properly included in the team, or are those testers who are punching the clock and would rather pick daisies than really get into the action.

Contrast this with experienced teams that have players qualified at every position, and know where they should be at all times. Teamwork consists of short, well executed collaborations. Not to mention the fact that the players have spent considerable time together already, so the osmotic communication is a given. The players know exactly what their goal is. Of course in software, this goal can change drastically based on the situation, but once you're coding, you better know what the end goal is. Otherwise you're just wasting time, and maybe even heading in the wrong direction.

So, what kind of team are you playing with or coaching?


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