"Discipline is the mother of victory."
The daily team alignment (DTA) makes sense to be done regularly at two levels:
- emotional level–it shows how people are feeling and what is the energy level in the team;
- rational level–it shows the current priorities, the workload levels, and the business-critical tasks that should be turned around by the end of the day. That's it.
No team fails because one-day things didn't go well. Team failures, and successes for that matter, result from systematic and constant actions that are repeated over and over again. One such action that should be done every day is the alignment of the team. Alignment means that all people on the team have the same understanding of the current priorities. Everyone should know what is expected of him, respectively, what he can expect from others.
The DTA (Daily Team Alignment) is straightforward to do. And for the same reason, we often miss it. Just because it is straightforward. And because the results of one or two misses can remain unnoticed. But the same results begin to be seen very clearly when the misses become systematic.
There is a relevant analogy with going to the gym. If you miss a workout, you will not notice much difference. You may even feel better because instead of training, you have rested or done something else.
It is the same with the daily team alignment - if you miss once or twice, there is not much difference in the work; even people have freed up a little more time to catch up with the their workload. Both with the gym and with the daily alignment - the problem is not the one miss. The problem is when it becomes a leak every week. And notice that this happens gradually little by little until, at some point, it turns out that the team hardly gets together and everything is done on the go. The work will not stop suddenly. But it will reach a turning point where it will suddenly get worse. This will be the point where a few people are a little more overwhelmed, a little more nervous, and a bit too tired. Just a little is enough to get to where the more the work - the worse the situation.
This scenario is not apocalyptic but just realistic. As soon as the people in the teams start wondering where they had gone wrong, it is time for taking a break and for some analysis. It is not a time to jump to conclusions.
In the daily alignment, people will get to know not only their work and colleagues but also themselves. They will understand that the rational laws they have studied in universities rarely work at the micro-level in their teams. For example, economic logic does not suggest that a manager would prefer to change positions and work more for less money. But it happens. It happens often.
Irrationality is not characteristic only of the people you work with. It is also characteristic of you. Think about how many of your career moves were rational and how many were completely emotional and without any sound logic. And more importantly, what resulted from the different types of decisions? You may now realize that the best moves in your career have been entirely irrational and emotional. But they felt right.
One typical disadvantage of the daily alignment is that it becomes a routine and does not get to the conversation's heart. At one point, people may perform the alignment like a pro forma, and the entire team may suffer. Of course, this cannot happen without the "help" of the manager of this team. So, if you notice a sluggish or pro forma presence - there is no room to ignore it. Address it directly and respectfully.
There will be days when someone, or even yourself, is at 50-60% of your capacity. Do not sweep things under the rug - if someone is not in a resourceful state to do their job—make some changes for the day. There is no sense to work at half speed. It is like driving a car with only half-cylinders working. When you make sure the cylinders and everything else are in order, it is time to race.
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