team (noun) – two or more people working together.Oxford English Dictionary
Two or more people working together. If you aren’t working together, then by definition, you aren’t a team.
That begs the question: what does “working together” mean? Here are some things that are (usually) necessary but not sufficient for “working together”:
- Talking to each other regularly
- Working on the same codebase
- Reviewing each other’s code
- Attending the same standup
- Using the same project board
It’s hard to “work together” without doing those things, but doing those things alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working together.
So here’s my definition: working together means working on the same workstream at the same time. If you aren’t doing that, you can call yourselves a team, but that doesn’t make it true.
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