I’m just back from a week in India visiting my dev team. Before I went over, I had the usual worries over flying such a long way. I rightly had concerns with the environmental impact of flying, plus the personal issue of sitting on a flight for 10 hours each way. What was the point of the trip; was I going to get enough benefit for the environmental, personal and financial costs involved.
Whilst there were very good technical reasons for going, to discuss handover of requirements, technical issue resolution, discuss project plans etc, all of these could have been handled via conference calls. Not as effectively but well enough when you take into account the myriad negative factors to flying.
But we have just implemented the first two modules of our main project. The delivery timescales were insanely tight; I had been told by everyone it was nigh on impossible. Even I knew that the deadline was extremely tough, but we needed the credibility boost that success would give us, and I knew my guys could do it, they just needed the challenge. And the entire team, here and in India delivered. A fully operational application, delivered to the users with no major faults.
Everyone rose to the challenge, they took on the deadlines and every single member of the dev, implementation and test teams worked often through the night and over weekends to make it happen. I was able to thank the implementation and test teams personally, but not the dev team. Arguably it was these guys and girls who worked the hardest. And in the end that made the decision for me. Yes I could take care of business over a VTC, but when a team has worked so hard to pull the project together for me, for my company, they deserved to be thanked personally.
I know that over the next few months the same team is going to have to work that hard again, at least now they know that we really appreciate their efforts. They know they are part of a team and what they do, and do well, is fully appreciated.
I have of course carbon off-set the flights.