Every dev team needs a destroyer

Call me old fashioned - and many people do - but  I'm a great believer in  people.

I tend to ignore roles, titles and rank and look for the person and what they can do.  I'm a big Agile fan, but I feel uneasy about the fixed nature of Agile roles in scrum teams. It all feels rather un-agile-ish.  

It is now prescribed that you must have a Product Owner,  a Dev Ops lead,  a UX designer etc. Yes, the activities that these roles cover all need to be done, but when you start giving people roles, it can create a desire to carry out the role description whether it is needed or not - dangerous stuff.  Having a multi-disciplined team that can flex to fulfil those role responsibilities is much more effective (and efficient). Thinking back on all the different flavour of dev teams (including Agile, RAD, Waterfall) that I've worked with, the best ones were where people played to their strengths but responisbilities were shared and the strengths were well-balanced. For me there are five types of people you need for a highly effective dev team.

The Creative

Bringing great ideas to the team and to the business.  This is not always the official 'creative' on the team, but someone who has a fearless imagination of what is possible and can look at things from different angles.

The Cynic.

Points out all the flaws in the Creative's bright ideas and sifts out what is essential and do-able, from the frivolous and unachievable.

The Pragmatist

Finds a way to deliver great ideas that work - the broker between the creative and the cynic!

The  Implementor

Just gets on with it and saves the team from disasters. Everyone in the team needs a bit of this of course, but you'll have someone - not necessarily the team leader who will just churn out the product and will be the one that the rest of the team turn to for advice and support.

The Destroyer

Every team needs someone that has the knack of breaking things. They come up with unhappy paths that no-one ever dreamed of!  Sometimes they are called testers, although not all testers have this ability ;-)

I hope that  gets you thinking about your  team and how it works.  If  you have any thoughts on  this theme  I'd love to hear from you.