How Building a Quality Team is like Cooking

By: Jeff Pierce

I have a passion for cooking. For me it's a way to relax, to flex my creative side and to bring together my friends and family. There are several principals most good chefs know that make for good food. I recently realized these same principals can apply to a good development team, especially when it deals with some of the smaller teams we help to find talent.

  1. Use the best ingredients. Much like garlic powder isn't a substitute for fresh chopped, hiring sub-par talent can take away from the team. Some of the best food I've had is very simple, with a few high-quality components...much like the best groups we hire for.<!--more-->
  2. Too many cooks spoil the broth. If too may people are in charge or there are too many architects and not enough developers you can't have a clear vision for the team or a clear idea of what kind of people you want to hire.
  3. The best dishes are balanced in their flavors, with one flavor not overpowering the others. Each ingredient has a purpose and a place. Likewise a team should also be balanced to be effective.

Everyone having the same strengths isn't as productive as a team of specialists.

The best restaurants focus on quality ingredients, balanced dishes and a clear vision for the dining experience. Doesn't that sound like the best product companies you know? What are some other ways that you could apply cookery to building a quality team?