Scrum 201: Team

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We want all Scrum teams to become hyper-productive.


Well, so they can enjoy life and be satisfied.  And feel like they accomplished something.  So, in part, this requires that they reach hyperproductivity without working any extra hours.

Second, we assume that hyperproductivity also means much greater business value delivered.  This of course will not always be the case. But it should be.

What level is considered hyperproductive?  5x-10x greater than average waterfall productivity.  But we will settle for 5x-10x the teams initial baseline.  Which is usually about what they are doing the 3rd sprint.

So all teams do this? No.

Can all teams do this? No.  Although we expect all teams to try, and to make serious progress.  Meaning: We expect each team to change its firms substantially.


Where do we start?

I think the first thing is: Is this Scrum team a real Team?

Far too often the answer is no.

They don’t think of themselves as a Team. They don’t work as a Team. And they don’t measure Team productivity.

So, we often have to start by convincing them they are a Team.


Lots of the work is talk. Repeating basic ideas about Teams. Sometimes we must remove non-team players. We must add Team metrics. We must ask managers and customers to view them as a Team.  And we must show them the small successes of good teamwork. And build on that.

It is not what they say, it is how they feel and act.  First, how they feel.

Each team has its own team chemistry.  This must be built.

Once they feel like a Team, then it is easier to coach the specific actions that a Team takes to support each and be successful as a Team.

Often, many people in the Scrum team have never been on a good sports team.  Or on a good team at work. So, often, you don’t have much tacit understanding to work with.  Makes it harder.

And lots of the talk and work is on people outside the Team, who are inadvertently destroying the team, through all kinds of words and actions. You, as maybe the ScrumMaster, must change the immediate ‘culture’ to foster the Team.

Not easy. But a good place to start.

I suppose you can play Scrum without really being a Team, a real Team. But Scrum is meant to be played as a strong Team sport.  This is when you will see the real productivity, the real value.

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