10 Books to Boost Team Work During Software Development

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10 Books to Boost Team Work During Software Development

Is your team not really working as a team? Check out this list of ten great books that can help to motivate and inspire a team to collaborate more effectively.

· Agile Zone ·
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'Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.' -  Michael Jordan

I will not surprise anyone – better results in any project (and software development is no exception here) are achieved thanks to teamwork. Communication, ideas, and thoughts sharing as well as outside points of view in combination with project management software open great perspectives for efficient and successful work on a project or anything else.

But to make a team out of a group of developers is not an easy task. Obstacles did, do and will occur. Sometimes those obstacles are expressed in team members’ ego, different approaches to problem-solving, or a lack of motivation, and so on and so forth. That’s why managing a group of developers (and people in general) implies the importance of teamwork.

To help you to create a better team environment and enhance its efficiency, I prepared a list of 10 books about teamwork that are relevant in 2017. By the way, you may combine this list with the best project management books for every manager.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Author: Stephen Covey.

Year: 1989

I could not help but include this book in my list. It was first published in 1989, and a few years ago its celebrated 25th edition, which says a lot about its fabulous popularity.

Stephen Covey was an educator, consultant, speaker, and management expert. In the book, he presents the approaches of being effective and the ways to achieve effectiveness. He underlines that before someone is going to include these approaches in their life, he or she has to re-evaluate their whole system of views and ideas. Covey states that in order to change something, we should pay attention to our personal behavior and attitude.

What does it have to do with teamwork? Under habits 4, 5 and 6 the author discusses communication and collaboration.

What Is So Special About This Book?

Actually, it is recommended by many people. And all reviews you’ll find, regardless of the source, will say something like, 'this is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.'

2. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team

Author: John C. Maxwell.

Year: 2000

In this book, the author elaborates on a theme of how a human being can become a more productive team member, a leader, or even an example to follow.

In fact, most of Maxwell’s ideas and statements are based on common sense. It is a practical guide-book for those who want to build successful teams and get to know how to be a part of them.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The expressed ideas are presented in understandable terms and language. Managers and leaders will find plenty of useful information in it.

3. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Author: Patrick Lencioni.

Year: 2000

This business-book by Patrick Lencioni, the famous consultant and speaker, was first published in 2000. In it, he describes all the difficulties and impediments that many teams face as well as the basic reasons for these difficulties.

The book was included in the bestseller list by many leading media resources such as The New-York Times, The Wall-Street Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, and USA Today.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The information is given in a light manner. After you are done with the book, you will look at your colleagues and team members in a different way. The described approaches can be applied not only in the business environment, but in other spheres as well.

4. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Author: Daniel H. Pink.

Year: 2009

The author of this book claims that the carrot and the stick approach no longer works as a motivational technique. People are motivated by their personal desires to direct their lives, by striving to develop skills and bettering themselves. This is what drives them to show the best results and get pleasure from their work and study.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us was included in New-York Times’ bestseller list.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The book is greatly focused on motivation. All the ideas and assertions within this book are justified by psychological research on people’s behavior. The author also offers up ideas of creating your own motivational systems and tools.

5. Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results

Authors: Geoffrey M. Bellman, Kathleen D. Ryan.

Year: 2009

Two experts elaborate upon a new approach that helps teams to gain extraordinary experience and succeed.

Sometimes people work in groups and describe their experience as wonderful. But, there are just as many cases where working within teams is described in a rather negative way. Why do some people have great teamwork experiences and others do not?

In the book, Bellman and Ryan state that extraordinary groups appear when two or more core values, subconsciously carried by all team members, are satisfied in teamwork.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The information is well-presented and backed by extensive research.

6. Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

Author: Amy C. Edmondson.

Year: 2009

Amy Edmondson is a professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School. In the book that was published in 2009, she acknowledges that people are different. But, regardless of all those differentiations, Edmondson welcomes and supports team collaboration. For that reason, she offers innovative ideas and argues for the importance of teamwork.

It should be noted that her ideas are not somehow intuitive, but pretty easy to understand and learn. There is no step-by-step ready-made plan in the book. Quite the opposite, you will find ideas and methodologies that will help to spark team spirit.

What Is So Special About This Book?

This work is based on the author’s many years of experience. She clearly defines what a team is and what it is not. The book sparks the desire to work in a team and not to dictate your terms.

7. Help the Helper: Building a Culture of Extreme Teamwork

Authors: Kevin Pritchard, John Eliot.

Year: 2012

The authors of this book are John Eliot – a consultant in professional sports leagues such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association, as well Fortune 500 companies – and Kevin Pritchard – the general manager for the NBA's Indiana Pacers. Here you will find tons of unique, behind closed doors information about teamwork that is based on sports experience.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The book describes in a great way what is so dangerous about disbalance in teams. The authors explain why organizations that value their players succeed. Each chapter contains examples that can shed light on new ideas for you.

8. The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

Authors: Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh.

Year: 2014

Just look at the names of those who had a hand in creating this book – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and entrepreneurs Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh. They claim that the former approach where employer and employee established long-term relations doesn’t exist anymore. They studied the modern relationship between employer and employee and show how collaboration can transform work into a pleasant experience.

What Is So Special About This Book?

The book contains plenty of unique information. The authors intentionally pay attention to the notion that any company should not be a family with its values. On the contrary, it should be a sports team that has definite aims.

9. A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results

Authors: Paul Gustavson, Stewart Liff.

Year: 2014

The book contains stories from the authors’ personal experience about the ways different teams implemented methods of work and how they helped them to move toward success.

What Is So Special About This Book?

It will help not only managers but all other team members. Thanks to the described ideas, teams are able to determine the ways to achieve success regardless of how effectively they are working now.

10. Debugging Teams: Better Productivity Through Collaboration

Authors: Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman.

Year: 2015

Having many years of experience in software development, and then as team leaders and managers, the authors share their thoughts and ideas in this book. They describe, in detail, behavioral patterns and the impossibility of predicting or foreseeing them. Fitzpatrick and Collins-Sussman give their advice on how to solve such problems and come out victorious.

The authors also claim that people tend to ignore human factors during work processes. But it is of high importance to learn how to collaborate and work in a team. It raises your chances of successfully accomplishing the goals of a software development project.

What Is So Special About This Book?

It contains tons of real examples. It is written in conversational style mixed with good humor. Many pieces of advice can be successfully applied in everyday life. But software developers will benefit the most from reading it.

agile, project management, team collaboration, team management

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