All the teams on a project need to work together.
Groups have to cooperate to ensure a project's success. Doing so brings value to the project as a whole (the effort becomes more than the sum of its parts)
When teams do not work together, projects fall apart very quickly.
From the very outset of a project, the various teams of people involved need to work together.
This teamwork starts with great leadership.
The developer has to set out his vision and goals for a project. This has to be done in such a way that all teams can relay those visions and goals to the same level of detail that the developer can. I like to compare this to the example of learning, to fully understand a subject you should be able to teach it to someone else.
Once the leadership is in place, roles and responsibilities have to be set out. It has to be very clear who will do what when (as discussed in our post on planning)
The team matters.
People work much better when they know that the other elements of their tasks are being taken care of. It also reinforces that their role and the role of others are essential, they need others to complete specific jobs for them to move forward just as they need to complete specific tasks for the project to be able to move ahead.
Issues with lack of cooperation need to be addressed as soon as they arise. This needs to be something that is done very deliberately. Those who are not working together need to be reminded of the value of working together, why they are required to do so, how it helps the projects and will help them. A timeframe needs to be set for improvement to be achieved in the area of cooperation, at which point it will be reviewed. Should the cooperation not be sufficient after the additional time provided for improvement, then the non-performing team member or members need to be removed before their behaviour spreads through the rest of the teams.
Bad behaviour from a small number of people will spread like a virus in a team, do not stand for it.
When your entire team works together in harmony, or as close to harmony as you can realistically expect, your project will be much more likely to proceed on time, on budget and with a much higher chance of success.
The subject of teamwork and cooperation is massive and very interesting. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you have worked in teams that just clicked or perhaps you have some nightmare stories we can learn from, let me know.