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Your team will change whether you like it or not. People will come and go. Your company might double in size or even be acquired. In this practical book, author Heidi Helfand shares techniques for reteaming effectively. Engineering leaders will learn how to catalyze team change to reduce the risk of attrition, learning and career stagnation, and the development of knowledge silos.

Based on research into well-known software companies, the patterns in this book help CTOs and team managers effectively integrate new hires into an existing team, manage a team that has lost members, or deal with unexpected change. You'll learn how to isolate teams for focused innovation, rotate team members for knowledge sharing, break through organizational apathy, and more.

You'll explore:

Real-world examples that demonstrate why and how organizations reteam
Five reteaming patterns: One by One, Grow and Split, Isolation, Merging, and Switching
Tactics to help you master dynamic reteaming in your company
Stories that demonstrate problems caused by reteaming anti-patterns

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Cutler
Foreword by Diana Larsen
O'Reilly Online Learning
How to Contact Us
How to Use This Book
I. What Is Dynamic Reteaming?
1. The Evolution of Teams
2. Understanding Teams
What Is a Team?
Dynamic Reteaming
Does Dynamic Reteaming Always Work Out?
The Social Dynamic of a Team
As Time Passes, Our Teams Change
3. The Power of Team Assignment
Someone "At the Topö Put Them on the Team
The Managers Decide the Team Membership
The People Take a Survey to See if They Want to Change Teams
Managers Encourage People to Volunteer for a Team
Managers Arrange Team Self-Selection Events
How A Company Reorged with Self-Selection
Teams Strategize and Form Their Own Team Structures
Reteaming as the Team's Problem to Solve
Team Members Trade Places, Then Tell Managers
4. Reduce Risk and Encourage Sustainability
Reteaming Decreases the Development of Knowledge Silos
Reteaming Reduces Team Member Attrition by Providing Career Growth Opportunities
Reteaming Decreases Inter-Team Competition, Fostering a Whole-Team Mentality
Reteaming Yields Teams That Aren't Ossified, Making It Potentially Easier to Integrate Newcomers
Reteaming Is Going to Happen
II. Dynamic Reteaming Patterns
5. One-by-One Pattern
Add People to Existing or New Teams?
Seeding Teams
Include Your People in the Organizational Design
Hiring to Sustain Culture and Development Practices
Plan and Communicate about the Arrival of the New Team Member
Get Things Together for the New Hire Before They Arrive
Encourage Managers to Pay Attention and Influence the New Hire
Support the New Hire as Well as the People Around Them
Assign the New Person a Mentor
Use Pair Programming to Onboard New Developers
Encourage Shadowing
Encourage New Hires to Share About Themselves
Form Bootcamps and Help New Hires Form Networks
When People Leave, You Have a New Team
Firing People-When You Reteam Someone Out
When People Leave of Their Own Accord
Saying Goodbye-Do We Announce Departures?
Processing the Fact that Someone Left The Team
The Evolution of People In Our Teams
Pitfalls of the One-by-One Pattern
You Realize You Have an Imbalance of Juniors to Seniors
Mentor Fatigue
Not Visioning Out Career Paths from the Beginning
6. Grow-and-Split Pattern
Signs That You Might Want to Split Your Team
Are Your Meetings Getting Longer?
Is Decision Making Becoming More Difficult?
Has the Work of the Team Become Unrelated?
Are You Forgetting Who Is on Your Distributed Team?
You've Decided to Split, Here's How to Do It
Include the Team in the Decision
Articulate Why You Are Splitting the Team
Figure Out the Missions of the New Teams
Determine Who Will Go on Each Team
Come Up with a New Seating Plan for the Resulting Teams
Figure out the Team Names
Tell Others About the Resulting Team Assignment
Formally Kick Off the New Teams
Pitfalls of the Grow-and-Split Pattern
Shared People Across Teams
Dealing with Dependencies Between Teams as a Result of the Split
Dragging Out the Split
Not Involving Your Facilities and Technology Groups Early Enough
The Emotional Challenge of Splitting Teams
Larger-Scale Splits
Grow and Split at the Tribe Level
Grow and Split to Drive Code Ownership
What It Means When You're Asked, "How Do We Maintain Our Culture?ö
7. Isolation Pattern
Isolation to Pivot the Company from Failure
Isolation for New Product Development
Isolation to Spawn New Innovations in an Enterprise
Isolation for Solving Technical Emergencies
Scaling the Isolation Pattern
General Recommendations for the Isolation Pattern
Invite Entrepreneurial People to Join the Team
Tell the Team That It Can Work How It Chooses
Move the Team to Its Own Space
Tell Other Teams to Leave Them Alone
Determine Whether the Team Will Live On, or Fold Back into Other Teams
Pitfalls of the Isolation Pattern
What About Maintenance of the Code?
The Thrilling Ride That Comes to an End
8. Merging Pattern
Merging Teams to Enable Pair Programming Variety
Merging Tribes Together to Form Alliances
Merging at the Company Level
Pitfalls of the Merging Pattern at the Team Level
When You Don't Calibrate the New, Larger Team
When You Don't Reset or Facilitate Your New, Larger Meetings
When You Don't Figure Out How You Will Make Decisions as a Larger Team
Pitfalls of the Merging Pattern at the Company Level
Drawing Out the Layoffs
Ambiguity Around Layoffs
Chaotic Takeovers
9. Switching Pattern
Switching Pairs Within a Team
Switching Pairs Out Completely for Problem Solving
Switching Teams to Share Knowledge and Support a Feature
Deliberate Switching at a Cadence to Share Knowledge
Rotating Developers for F