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No More Cowboys: Teams for Change

Slow down there cowboy. If you’re doing everything in a project, great news, you don’t have to do it all. In the midst of talking to a Black Belt who had recently added data analysts to his team of Black Belts, author Tony Heath realized that he was doing everything for everyone, and he didn’t have to. Heath writes about his experience of being a project cowboy and what needs to be done about it in this isixsigma.com article.

The Cowboy Black Belt Model

The problem is people perceive cowboys as people who are good at everything, when the reality is most times they’re not. This kind of mentality hurt cowboys, who have to pretend they are experts at everything. In addition to the cowboy mentality hurting project delivery, Heath mentions:

Projects may also suffer due to the fact that the Belts do more of what they are best at and less of what they are not. For example, I’ve seen tollgates with tons of valuable content that bores the team to death. I’ve seen spectacular statistical analysis ignored because no one understands it. And I’ve seen creative changes implemented that take the process in the wrong direction. In each case, the Belts were doing most of what they did best.

An Alternative

Heath suggests a team model of change facilitation as an alternative. Include all Belts, or some belts and non-Belts to cover the different aspects of a project such as data analysis, creativity, and marketing. By doing that you ensure that each team member brings something different to the table. When everyone works with what they do best, the faster and smoother a project will be accomplished. 

To read the full article, click here: http://www.isixsigma.com/community/blogs/no-more-cowboys-teams-for-change/

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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