Agile/Scrum blog

Onderwerp: Agile Teams

Building a team manifesto with ‘That guy, this guy’

Rosanne Bal Door: Rosanne Bal,  10-04-2017
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  

Every time a new team is formed, it takes time to grow from a group of people to a well-functioning team. In their journey to become a high-performing team, they need a shared understanding of the principles and values of each individual and the team. The most important principles and values can be summarized in a team manifesto, a social contract among the team members. A team manifesto is always built by the team itself. It contains a set of norms, values and behaviors that forms a solid ground for collaboration within the team.

With every team I coach, one of the first things we do is building a team manifesto. Recently, I did this by using the Retrospective format ‘That guy, this guy’. The results were great! Therefore, I would like to share this workshop format with you.

Needs of High Performing Teams

Alex van der Star Door: Alex van der Star,  20-05-2016
Onderwerp: Agile Management   agile  Agile Coaches  Agile Coach  Agile Teams  Culture  Development Team  High Performing Teams  Scrum  Scrum Teams  Team Happiness  Team morale  What motivates people  zelfsturende teams  

The needs that High Performing Teams have

In my previous blogpost, I wrote about the characteristics of High Performing Teams. To come to these characteristics I did a small literature review. For this part, I will establish the needs that need to be filled in in order to enable teams to become high performing.

Remember, I am still talking about a team of knowledge workers developing and maintaining a software product.

Characteristics of High Performing Teams

Alex van der Star Door: Alex van der Star,  14-04-2016
Onderwerp: Agile Management   agile  Agile Coaches  Agile Coach  Agile Teams  Culture  Development Team  High Performing Teams  Scrum  Scrum Teams  Team Happiness  Team morale  What motivates people  zelfsturende teams  

How to create high performing teams

This is the first blogpost in a mini-series of three in which I explore actions that Agile coaches or Agile managers can take to create high performing teams. I focus on high performing teams that consist of knowledge workers creating a software product.

It looks like we are in the middle of a social revolution equal to the scale of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th century. We’re seeing more and more self-organizing teams that make their own decisions within boundaries set by organisational direction, strategy and/or vision. The benefits seem clear, teams that take ownership simply perform better. But what is exactly the mechanism behind this? Is setting a certain corporate direction and giving freedom to self-organising teams enough to end up with high performing teams?

Childish motivation

Martijn Dehing Door: Martijn Dehing,  11-02-2015
Onderwerp: Agile Management   Agile Teams  Culture  High Performing Teams  Scrum Teams  zelfsturende teams  

Many of my friends are already or soon-to-be parents. Watching their children learn new things in a pace so fast that even Usain Bolt seems slow caught my attention. All of them are really quick in using their dad’s smartphone, the family iPad. Even the SmartTV gets wizzed through as if it has always been there. When you give them your old family photo album they expect to slide through it, just like an iPad. Even for me it is sometimes hard to follow, let alone their grandparents. The learnings that don’t come naturally, so it seems, are the things that they have to do by school, their parents or life itself.

So what are the intrinsic motivators to cater for this fast pace of learning? Could these be used as well in an adult environment, say e.g. a Scrum Team?

The Daily Goal

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  14-07-2014
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  Craftsmanship  High Performing Teams  Scrum  Scrum Teams  

The daily scrum is the most used scrum meeting. This sounds obvious because it occurs every day. But it's also the first practice organisations and teams apply when starting with scrum. 

Although the daily scrum is a very straightforward meeting with a clear structure and can be practiced daily, many teams fail to extract the potential value it offers. It is used merely as a status update meeting, performed mechanically and resulting in incoherent and ambiguous individual plans. 

This is a shame, because a well-performed daily scrum should be energizing, inspiring and result in a shared refined daily plan that is created and supported by the entire team.

If your daily scrum has become unfocused, practiced mechanically and is an energy-drainer; using the best practice of a daily goal is a great solution!

The team manifesto, the foundation every team needs

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  27-06-2014
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  

Teamwork nowadays is more important than ever. The amount of innovations and changes increase drastically. The only companies that survive are those who can adapt quick enough. Having a set of small, self-organizing and multidisciplinary teams with mutual understanding about teamwork and quality, can make the difference between winning or losing as a company.

"If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time." - Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

The seven habits of highly effective Teams

Emiel van den Berg Door: Emiel van den Berg,  24-06-2014
Onderwerp: Agile Principles  Habits  Agile Teams  High Performing Teams  Scrum Teams  

I recently started working for Prowareness, during the application period I was asked to give a presentation about myself. Now, this is one of those moments to sit back and think about yourself. How do I present myself in one or two slides. What is really typical me? What do I believe in? What am I passionate about? One of the slides I made depicted my personal bookshelf because I believe that the books you read (and like!) tell a lot about you.

Groups & Scrum: Productive teams

Stephan van Rooden Door: Stephan van Rooden,  03-06-2014
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  Groups  High Performing Teams  Scrum  

In the previous blog, I talked about the importance of setting goals and what to focus on when trying to reach goals. How is setting goals related to productivity? When you stroll across the web on the topic of Scrum you will most likely run into the term ‘Hyper Productive Scrum Teams’. This sounds really nice and would most likely appeal to most people who consider adopting the Scrum framework. However, a hyper productive team can deliver no value at all ….but at hyper speed. And that’s where goals come into play.

Groups & Scrum: Setting goals

Stephan van Rooden Door: Stephan van Rooden,  23-04-2014
Onderwerp: Groups  Agile Management   Agile Teams  Agile Coaches  

 “To win, you’re dependent on others. To improve, you depend on yourself!”

Last week, I had a very interesting session with some fellow coaches on how to assess an organizational department who has started the transition to Agile a few months back. From that moment we started measuring some boundary conditions. Those things you really need to have in place to enable a faster adoption of Scrum and preparing the path towards agility.

Een Agile transitie met een externe transitiemanager. Kan dat wel?

Rini van Solingen Door: Rini van Solingen,  08-10-2013
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  Agility in de bedrijfsvoering  leiding geven  zelfsturende teams  agile  

Elke dinsdagavond zitten wij met alle collega’s op kantoor bij Prowareness. Tot half zes hebben we het over de belangrijkste stappen die wij als bedrijf moeten zetten. Daarna eten we en van zes tot acht uur stipt werken we aan de top 5 onderwerpen die ons beter maken.

Dat doen we in teams. Wij zitten in het team rond onze transitie-aanpak.

Op dat punt zitten we met een dilemma. Vanavond werden we ons namelijk bewust (sommigen van ons in elk geval) van een paradox. Namelijk, wie leidt nu eigenlijk een Agile transitie? Een deel van ons vindt dat een Agile transitie wordt geleid door het management. Zij zijn de cultuurbewakers, zij zetten de lijnen uit, zij geven dagelijks leiding. Als externe Agile coach kun je dat niet doen. De leiding van een Agile transitie ligt bij het management van de organisatie die die transitie uitvoert. Dat is de mening van de ene helft van ons team.

The Agile Dream

Twan van de Waerdt Door: Twan van de Waerdt,  31-01-2013
Onderwerp: Agile Teams  

“If you can dream it, you can do it”
Walt Disney

Many times we’ve wondered, what is the most Agile company we know? Which company lives and breathes Agility? Which company can we set as an example for our customers and peers? The truth is, unfortunately, that to our knowledge, a 100% Agile company doesn’t exist (please leave a comment if you feel differently). After all, Agile is not an absolute end state. Yet, we decided to paint a visionary picture, our Agile Dream, using elements from organizations we’ve come across during our years of coaching experience, combined with examples we’ve heard of from colleagues, blogs and various other sources. Puzzle pieces of organizational characteristics that, when combined, would create the most Agile organization in the world.

A vision summarizes an organization's reason of existence in as few words as possible. We have selected three key elements we think should be part of the vision of our Agile Dream.

The first is genuine Customer and Employee delight: everyone involved with the organization should be so delighted that they would recommend its services and products to their family and friends. Customers should become fans, and are promoting your product. There should be no difference between customers and , employees. The best sales people an organization could have are your customers!