When I go into different organisations, I see many of the people doing the work (analysis, development and testing) split across multiple projects. In my experience there are plenty of reasons why this is just a bad idea, and probably the biggest one that I see is that the split priorities for an individual conflict with a model for ideal teamwork.
What does your organisation have more of? Teams or groups of people “working together”?
There’s a big difference between the two, particularly if your organisation is interested in tapping into the benefits of teams. Unfortunately most of the time organisations miss the mark.
How can you convert groups of people into teams?
Split priorities create natural conflicts between groups. A lot of management theory I’ve read describes how to get the most out of teams by rallying them towards a shared goal or set of goals. At the individual level, setting different goals for different people establishes a dynamic that, at some point, individuals’ priorities will conflict and without a broader shared goal, will go unresolved. Setting the same priority for everyone is, in effect, putting everyone into the same team. Leaving people split across multiple projects, is in effect, setting different sets of priorities for an individual.