• Teamwork

 

The success of Agile lies in creating empowered teams with excellent teamwork.

Lead, not managed
Agile teams are not managed or told exactly how to organize their work, they self-organize the work in the most effective way. The direction for the work of the team is set by the product owner but the team sets its own short term targets. This increases commitment of the team to achieve these targets.

A team is more than the sum of the individuals
A proper functioning team performs better than a group of individuals. In a team the members use the individual strengths while compensating for the individual weaknesses. Add to this a common goal and the team members will put all their energy in reaching that common goal instead of their own, personal goals.

Common goals instead of individual tasks
Although individuals may work on tasks, tasks are never the sole responsibility of an individual. To achieve the common goal, a set of tasks must be executed. Who will do what task is not defined upfront. Instead, this is decided on a day by day basis taking into account what team member is the best person for the task at that moment. In a successful team, knowledge and skills of the individuals overlap and they can (partly) do each other’s type of work. This makes the team more flexible and thereby more effective.

Quality is a team responsibility
All work in Agile is team work. This includes testing and business analysis. These are not the sole responsibility of one person (the tester or the business analyst), instead the whole team is responsible for the quality of the product. Everybody works on business analysis during refinement and planning. Testing is done on all levels by all members of the team.

Levels and check points for teamwork

The levels for Teamwork are typified as follows:

  • Forming: The team executes a task
  • Norming: The team is committed
  • Performing: The team is self managing

Please find the checkpoints below.

Forming
1. The team is co-located
2. Each team member is involved in important decisions
3. The team understands its goal
Norming
1. Testing is an integrated task of a multi disciplinary team
2. The team commits to the scope in a sprint
3. Agile coaching is provided to improve the teamwork
4. The team contains all skills necessary to deliver a working product
Performing
1. Team members know and value each other
2. Specialists share their expertise to improve the knowledge in the team
3. The team is responsible for a sufficient quality product
4. Team members can take on different roles instead of being limited to their function