Council Post: 19 Qualities Of High-Performing IT Teams (And How To Cultivate Them)

While strong skills and knowledge of the latest trends and tools are essential if an IT team is to succeed in today’s technology-dominated and rapidly evolving workplace, they alone will not guarantee the highest level of performance. A combination of soft skills and growth traits is essential for an IT team to achieve the best results.

While it’s ideal for new team members to walk through the door with these “extra” qualities, that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, with thought and smart strategies, technology leaders can cultivate these traits in their teams. Below, 19 members Forbes Technology Advice share some key qualities they believe IT teams need to perform at a high level, as well as strategies technology leaders can use to develop them.

1. Attention to organization and detail

All high performing IT teams are highly organized and have detailed guides that explain how things should be done. Creating an internal standard operating procedure manual will help keep your team on the same page. If everyone has access to the same tools, resources and processes, you will foster a culture of organization and readiness. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

2. Autonomy

The most important thing is to create an independent and self-organizing team. That starts with building a high level of trust in the team, so they can challenge each other respectfully and hold each other accountable. As a technology leader, the best way to cultivate a high-performing team is not to instruct team members on what to do, but to put them in charge of developing their own mission and delivering value. – It’s Paul, Summarize

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3. ‘high alignment’ combined with ‘loose coupling’

“Highly aligned and loosely coupled” is a key quality of high-performing teams that technology leaders must cultivate. High alignment comes from a clear, well-understood team strategy where everyone follows priorities and knows their role in the larger strategy. A loosely connected culture requires a deep level of trust between peer organizations that enables teams to move quickly. – Vishwas Manral, Cloud Security Alliance

4. Problem solving mentality

A problem-solving mentality is essential to a high-performing IT team. Technology leaders can foster a problem-solving mentality in their teams by sharing the broader business context around customer pain points and needs, rather than dictating solutions as tasks. This allows IT teams to demonstrate ownership and deep expertise in solving customer problems. – Wendy Johansson, MiSalud Health

5. Balance of patience and impatience

There are certain things you should be anxious about: urgent and important priorities, like building a great core product and providing the best customer experience. There are other things that require patience. This can include moving the market, changing the world and realizing your long-term vision. Balancing patience and impatience is difficult, but necessary for execution. – Chet Kapoor, DataStax

6. Resilience

Resilience is an essential trait of a high-performing IT team. Technology leaders can cultivate it by fostering a culture of experimentation, providing opportunities for skill development, and encouraging collaboration to solve complex challenges. – Avani Desai, Schellmann

7. Proactivity

High performing IT teams are proactive. One thing great IT teams do is instill a willingness and ability to act immediately on tasks and make updates before they become a “fix.” Great IT teams aren’t necessarily “looking” for things to fix all the time, but instead monitor everything they can to stay prepared. – Jordan Yallen, MetaTop

8. Mutual cooperation

Collaboration is essential for teams facing multiple pressures and responsibilities. Communication and collaboration are key within and between teams in separate organizations. Effective leaders foster transparency among teams and establish strong communication channels for optimal results. – Jennifer Gold, Apollo Information Systems

9. Research mindset

High-performing IT teams possess an investigative mindset, constantly seeking opportunities to learn and innovate. Leaders can cultivate this by encouraging “experiment days” where team members are free to explore new tools, technologies, and creative solutions without the pressure of immediate results. This fosters a culture of curiosity and growth, driving performance and innovation. – Andres Zunino, ZirconTech

10. A ‘winning’ attitude

Individuals with a “winning” attitude create high-performing IT teams. While the right skill set is also required, leaders should not underestimate the power of employees who are aligned with their vision and company goals, bring a strong work ethic, and support each other. Listening and acting on their feedback helps foster their development while creating a strong and inclusive company culture. – Gene Fay, ThreatX

11. Strong communication skills

A high-performing IT team must possess effective communication skills. To cultivate these skills, technology leaders can encourage regular team meetings, promote an environment of openness and transparency, use collaboration tools, and encourage active listening. By prioritizing communication, IT team members can work together more effectively, leading to better results and greater success in their projects. – Namrata Sengupta, Stellar Data Recovery Inc. dba BitRaser

12. Agility

High-performance IT teams need effective communication and agility. The combination of these qualities helps teams quickly adapt to changing business needs while maintaining transparency and collaboration. Leaders can encourage communication through openness, collaboration and clear channels, and they can promote agility by using Agile methodologies, encouraging experimentation and providing regular feedback. – Cristian Randieri, Intellisystem Technologies

13. Curiosity

Curiosity is essential for a high performance team. With the constant development of new tools and technologies, the IT team must maintain the curiosity that many of us have about technology and how things work. Often team members initially have that curiosity, but the regular grind of work dulls that curiosity, which can lead to burnout or poor performance. – John Bruggeman, CBTS

14. Attention to metrics

IT teams must be driven by metrics. Many tools can measure the success of a project or final product. Some key metrics are sprint and release burndown, team velocity reduction, control charts, cumulative flow charts, release frequency, and delivery speed. These metrics can provide incredible insights into team performance and provide measurable goals to strive for. – Marco Nacho, BairesDev

15. Strong cooperation

High performance can be achieved when teams have strong collaboration skills. When leaders foster an environment of trust, respect, and open dialogue among team members, it becomes easier for the team to work together in a productive and efficient manner. Besides, hanging out with each other outside of meetings is the best way to build relationships and strengthen cooperation. – Sandro Shubladze, I am dating

16. Effective teamwork

Just like in sports, an essential characteristic of high-performance IT teams is effective teamwork. Leaders can cultivate this by assigning roles that take advantage of each member’s strengths – in the same way that in soccer playmakers pass the ball, defenders tackle and forwards score. Encourage collaboration, open communication, and goal alignment to foster a unified team working toward common goals, resulting in overall success. – Anton Abyzov, Softgreat

17. Adaptability

One essential trait of a high-performing IT team is adaptability. Technology leaders can cultivate this by fostering a growth mindset, encouraging continuous learning and embracing change. By empowering team members to experiment, learn from failure, and iterate on solutions, leaders foster an environment that drives innovation and is responsive to industry change. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

18. Culture of continuous learning

Technology leaders should foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within their teams, resulting in higher levels of team performance and success. They can do this by encouraging open communication and knowledge sharing; clear definition of team goals, roles and responsibilities; and fostering adaptability, customer centricity and collaboration. – Neelima Mangal, Spectrum North

19. Openness

Effective IT teams demonstrate openness and curiosity. While we all love a reliable methodology that works, IT teams should be wary of trying too hard on regimented systems. As time goes on, there will always be a better and faster way to do things, and IT teams need to be completely comfortable finding ways to challenge the status quo. – AJAbdallat, Beyond Limits

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