I’ve been working for more than 20 years and I’ve worked both in small and large teams. Very likely you have heard and read teamwork stories and you have your own experience. Many say that when you have people working as a team -not just working together in the same project- the performance, the power, the benefit… increases and you get extra.
I must admit that I worked once -that doesn’t mean that was the only one- where I teamed with another engineer that what we did exceeded any expectation. 1 + 1 exceeded 2 and not sure if it was equivalent to 3, 4, 5… but we’ve been able to ship the first Large Format Printer in HP and the quality of that product was such that it hit Encad seriously.
Lets call that engineer Ramón -I might have picked any other name but I preferred to use his actual name-. As I was saying Ramón and I were picked from among different engineers in HP to work in a cross functional team. We were not fresh engineers (about 5 years experience) but both were new in the company. His background was mechanical engineer. Mine firmware and real-time.
Both had acquired a good reputation in the six months that we took in HP yet we were both very demanding and therefore it was difficult to work with us, to put it mildly.
Not sure why they put us to work together, thanks Doug for the experience, but the fact is that in less than a year to get that worked and printed Loquillo which had never been seen in HP.
What was it that made it possible: Respect.
Respect your colleagues
Yes! We were working in a completely new area, we might have our own ideas but, not sure why, I respected his opinions and when he asked me to implement new code for placing drops of ink on paper I did my best implementing it and when I replied that something was not possible he never asked me again.
We were both stubborn. We both had a strong personality. But above all, both were able to respect each other and trust that what the other was saying was true. I swear I never sought personal advantage and I’m sure he did not. Both wanted to highlight, but none tried to do it at the expense of the other. And so they did it.
I don’t know if our manager had planned but I must admit that despite of having two fighting cocks in the yard there was never a single fight.
That’s why I think that 1 + 1 might be 3.