Hi, research computing team managers and leaders:
In our team there’s been a lot of passages lately - a paper for our original work is (finally!) coming out, as our new version is (finally!) coming together; we’re gearing up for a new batch of co-ops as our current co-ops are starting to document and getting ready to present their work; a project manager is joining the team for the first time now that the effort has reached a size and scope that it needs one (well, it needed one a year ago, but here we are).
These passages - and especially the influx of new people, new tasks, new scope - are really important for a team’s well being. Stasis isn’t stable; systems, including systems of people, are either growing or stagnating.
In academia sometimes it’s far too easy for groups to become very comfortable with “the way we do things”, and set in their ways. As Boulanger points out in the first article in the roundup, that can quickly lead to problems not being addressed - or even really noticed any more - and eventually people both within the team and “clients” of the team starting to drift away. In fact, I was talking to a colleague this week about one group’s services becoming ossified to the point where consumers of those services started moving to those of a different and newer group - the first group didn’t take feedback or feature requests seriously, and now there’s a real chance it will simply be disbanded (or, maybe worse, left go on indefinitely with less and less actual purpose).