Most people use the software development team to build the software product. And that makes a lot of sense. Begin with the end in mind – focus on the product and make sure that is clear to the team – and they will build it well. Unfortunately, and unexpectedly, this is painful and ineffective. I have never seen a team reach high performance by doing that.
Instead, all of the teams that I have witnessed achieve high performance have done something differently. They focused on the individuals and their interactions; the focused on the team and how they work. The fact that they had a shared goal – the product – was the mechanism used to Build the Team. When the team was built – the software was built as a by-product of the focus on the team.
So focus on building the team. Use the product as a way to build a high performance team. Do THAT and you will get a great product. Every. Single. Time.