Antipatterns: Mob without teamwork
Also Known As
- Low-trust mobbing
- Mechanics before attitude
A group of developers works well independently. When possible, they divide work at well-defined interfaces and so avoid making design decisions together.
This is a work-around for not being practiced at respectful listening, mutual trust, and accepting one anothers’ ideas – in short, for poor teamwork.
You’ve heard that mobbing is beneficial and want to try it.
Begin with the mechanics of mobbing: one computer, rotate drivers periodically.
- Probably don’t do Strong Style (nothing goes into the computer unless it goes through somebody else’s hands)
- Probably don’t do the Role Playing Game
- Probably don’t do Take Five
- Definitely don’t do Mobodoro
- when you’re at the keyboard, you can’t think – you get stuck on very simple things
- when you’re not at the keyboard, you are very bored and want to leave
- you feel like you’re wasting your time
- when you’re not at the keyboard, you are frustrated that other people aren’t listening to you
- when you’re at the keyboard, you are frustrated that other people aren’t understanding where you want to go
Applicable Positive Patterns
Mobbing is, fundamentally, about continuously integrating ideas. You and your team have not learned how to integrate ideas daily (which is why you’re used to splitting out tasks in such a way that you don’t need to design together).
Instead of starting with the mechanics, focus on the mobbing attitude. Patterns that help with that:
- Use Strong Style driver/navigator – “For an idea to go from your head into the computer it MUST go through someone else’s hands”
- Use the Role Playing Game with an emphasis on the Sponsor and the Traffic Cop role
- Pursue any other avenue you have for improving collaboration and teamwork and increasing trust between your group members