How do you measure performance? Should you be measuring performance at the team level or the individual level?
The use of autonomous teams in Agile development leads many to conclude that team is the only concern. The case being made is this: If you focus on individual goals and individual incentives, you will cause individuals to operate in ways that are counter to the collaborative teamwork that you seek.
Likewise, there are times when individuals resent having their performance strictly assessed at the team level. Sometimes people are assigned to teams late in the game, or are temporarily taken off the team to deal with a critical issue that limited their involvement with the team. Fair enough.
Resentment can surface in another way, as pointed out by Morten Hansen in his book, Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results: “People working in teams can shirk and get by because individual output is not being measured, only team output.”
Morten notes that when people can hide, they often do. It’s called social loafing. People on the teams, however, know how much everyone is contributing, which is where the resentment comes into play. (The daily standup with crisp answers to the 3 questions combined with the collaborative nature of Agile teams definitely helps to address this issue.)
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