Build Great Teams

One of the major factors in adopting an effective agile approach is teamwork and collaboration. In fact, the Agile Manifesto is very clear that individuals and their interactions are a critical part of a successful agile team:

Indeed, one of the most frequently-given pieces of advice when adopting agile is to “Gather the right people”, then “Build a collaborative team”. But just how do we accomplish this?

Strengths-based Coaching

In 2007, Gallup published “StrengthsFinder 2.0”, which has become a best-seller in the corporate world, and millions of people have taken the self-assessment. This is a great start, but is really individually-focused. We need a tool that is team-focused, so we partnered with coaches using the CoreClarity approach, created a set of tools to do just this.

We use these assessments collectively, allowing the team to learn about each other, discover what each person is best at, and use these skills to build the best, most effective team possible.

Self-assessment

The first step is to have the entire team take the self-assessment. This take 20 to 30 minutes at a website. Once these self-assessments are complete, we compile the top five strengths for each person. This allows us to develop a picture of each individual, and determine what their strengths are.

We then start looking at the strengths of the entire team, and relating individual strengths across the team

as well as developing a picture of the overall contributing strengths of each person to the team.

Having understood individual strengths and how they relate to others on the team, we can now look across the team to see what competitive advantages this team has

Now we apply our learning to your organization, through a series of workshops:

Individual and team feedback workshop

The morning of this workshop is focused on each individual’s strengths, allowing each person to understand their motivations, and learn what it is they do well. This includes the following elements:

• Presentation and short videos that explain the basis of the Top 5 Talents and Core Clarity color charts
• Receive and review their individual results
• Have each person share their top 5 Talents with each other

The afternoon session is a team focus, with the following aspects:

• Review the Team Core Clarity color charts
• Look at personalities within the group
• How to pick a dream team for a new project, and understand where each person might fit in that team
• How all this can integrate with Agile principles and practices

Each person will also be given a brief assignment to connect what they have learned with the next workshop.

Team Strengths workshop

The second workshop is focused on allowing managers and individual team members to help everyone understand how best to use this information for personal/team member development. This workshop is broken into the following elements:

• Morning: Equipping the Manager to better help team members focus on their project responsibilities, by better understanding their team members style, strengths and skills.

• Afternoon: Practice interviewing each other about their top 5 Talents. This enables them to practice talking about their talents so they are better equipped and bringing this up in their regular manager meetings, such as weekly 1-1’s, regular evaluations, and project reviews.

• Review homework from Day 1

Application to the agile process workshop

The third workshop ties the team and individual Talents into their Agile process. There are two important ceremonies in the agile process for accomplishing this – Retrospectives and Iteration Planning.

• Morning: Sprint and project retrospective.
Lead a Retrospective that brings in team health in light of the Talents work the team has completed in the past iteration

• Afternoon: New planning techniques
Introduce additional planning activities that can help them team improve their project delivery, such as Rolling Look-ahead planning, story estimation, and story break-down.

This third workshop is best delivered at an iteration, as it prepares the team to be more effective in the following and subsequent iterations.

Contact us today to start allowing your teams to be more effective than ever before.