OVER THE 19-YEAR PERIOD that our co-author Anton Burger worked with and managed teams, the question was often asked, why are smaller teams able to achieve so much more? Let’s look at the following example.
A big life insurance company wanted to computerise their business processes to improve operational efficiencies. This would not only bring down operational cost but also improve customer experience.
The management team of the organisation approached Victor Pereira (pseudonym), a management consultant, to assist with the selection of suitable software to computerise the business and to put a team together to implement the system. A system was soon selected and a seven-member team was established.
The team consisted of a team leader, a two-man development team, an IT expert and a three-man business analysis (to determine the needs of the business) and testing team. The members of the team were all specialists in their fields and had much experience.
Besides the normal challenges that go with a project of this nature, there was one additional challenge — the version of the software in question had never before been implemented anywhere in the world. The client would be the first.
Adding to this challenge was the fact that, should any software code issues come up, they could only be resolved by the software provider based in the United States. This meant the team needed to be flexible and had to work after hours in South Africa to coincide