The Agile Tribe

Can you MAKE a team Agile or more Agile?

on February 15, 2011

Author: Susan Akers

Having just completed my ScrumMaster training I became aware that while Scrum is focussed on the Deliver Phase of Agile it is in fact, first and foremost about People! As Martin Kearns, our trainer, pointed out and this certainly resonated with me:
 This is evidenced by a recent story told to me by an Agile coach about a team they were working had just completed a challenging project in a very tight timeframe. The phenomenon about this team was that they had never worked together before, came from a wide variety of backgrounds and were working on a new platform, yet they were extremely productive from day 1! and delivered far beyond expectations; and their customers are delighted.
As we all know it can take months for some teams to become productive.

“You have to get the right people talking and doing! ..
The glue that holds people together is their emotional states and what commits people to the sprint is the emotions they feel.”


From your experiences, what are the factors that differentiate a ‘great’ team from the less-than great? Are there any common themes? What are the necessary ingredients?


2 responses to “Can you MAKE a team Agile or more Agile?

  1. Sieger de Vries says:

    Two key ingredients:
    1. Positive people : Attitude is more important than aptitude. We can train and coach on aptitude issues but a negative attitude is almost impossible to change and even one such person in the team can pull a whole positive team down
    2. Great leadership: By this I mean the ability to energise a team with a vision and sense of purpose and to create an environment where they become self managing. Thus allowing the team to glow and use their knowledge and energy to come up with the best solutions.

  2. SuAkers says:

    Thanks Sieger. Can’t agree more – if you have the wrong attitude in a team you can see it affect the dynamics of it like a virus. Sometimes you can strike it lucky too that the right people come together at the right time like with our Agile Coach.

    As I have heard and iIm sure you have too, availability does not make a team. So don’t just attempt to put a team together of whoever has time to work on a project at the time, because it more than likely it will not end well.

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