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Facilitate Team Identity

Last post 04:05 pm February 21, 2023 by Daniel Wilhite
5 replies
07:30 am February 13, 2023

I have a team given a name by the org, but I want to the team have its own identity. We cannot change the name, but we can create a logo or a coat of arms. And maybe a team slogan and a team color.

Any tips on how to facilitate this?

01:29 pm February 13, 2023

The organization sounds a bit command and control. In my experience, once a team starts to develop an identity and esprit-de-corps of its own, a company will often either break it up to show who's boss and/or decimate it through ham-fisted interference.

Unless you have clear sponsorship for your idea, my advice is not to set team members up for the disappointment which may result from being crushed under the wheels of a corporate wagon. It can stick in the throat, having an identity torn away from you. It may be wiser to build a network of practitioners which has the resilience to survive these shenanigans.


05:40 pm February 13, 2023

Why does any of this - the team name or having (or not having) a team logo or slogan - matter? Having a way to identify one team from another team makes sense, but why does it matter who came up with the name? What is the value in spending time with the other stuff? Focus on discovering and doing the work needed to deliverable valuable increments to stakeholders.

07:15 pm February 13, 2023

I have a team given a name by the org, but I want to the team have its own identity.

Do you have a team or are you part of a team?  You want them to have their own identity or the team wants to have it's own identity? 

You do not get to decide that this is something that wants/needs to be done.  You asked about ways to facilitate it.  If you would like to do it, try bringing it up in a Sprint Retrospective and see how the rest of the feels about it.  

08:27 am February 20, 2023

😊 Thanks for all the great questions and feedback.

@Ian Mitchell, I can see your point. If there is no clear sponsorship why bother at all? And right now there is no clear sponsorship. Just an idea in my head.

Some background info. My role is a Software Engineering Lead in the team and one part of the role is to "manage" people. I put this in quotes because I try not to manage as much as lead but I have responsibilities to the people in the team like performance reviews and such.

The team I'm a member of also has to deal with products, making it hard to make the products their identity in my view. There are no business goals for the team to get rid of one of the products. So we will have to manage that and steer our focus on one thing at a time.

I've loosely asked the team what they thought and they liked the idea initially.

What I'm trying to solve is how to get the team together on something when they have two products and this was one of the ways.

04:05 pm February 21, 2023

Why not just let the team suggest names?  Does it have to be related to the products?  If the idea is to let them to have their own identity, then let them pick a name that identifies them.  There are a group of teams at my current employer that work on related products.  They all like basketball so they named themselves after famous basketball players.  I worked at another place where each team had a random names.  Have them all submit some names, then let the team vote on it.

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