Yes! We finally work in an Agile way
Starting to work in an Agile way is fun. Of course, it can be a bit overwhelming with all the new tools, techniques, and definitions, but after the first few sprints most of the squads are enthusiastic. The feedback loop keeps them customer focused and the squad is able to deliver value. Yes! Finally, we know how to work in an agile way!
…but then after a while, the energy gets low and old habits start to take over the squad… The squad becomes less innovative and the fast delivery is not fully focused on value anymore.
Working Agile requires a certain understanding of team dynamics. Like Patrick Lencioni has written: it starts with trust. Being vulnerable is key in building trust, but we need to feel safe before we show it. So even when the retrospective or health check is partly focused on being vulnerable and letting go of defensiveness, we still need a safe environment. When the retrospective feels hostile, we won’t share anything what will damage our position in the team. And by the way: most of the time we all score smileys at the retrospective, otherwise it takes too much time…
Lack of direction is another energy drain. Of course, we have the client demos to get the feedback we need to improve our products and it provides a certain direction, but how does success really look like? What do we have to deliver and what do we need in our team to get fully energized back home?
MVP = Meaning, Values and Patrick 🙂
So how to boost your squad? To get the energy back in your squad you need to accomplish:
1. A clear Meaning and engaging Values
2. Trust (and the other 4 layers of the Lencioni Pyramid) to become a high performing team
Clear Meaning and engaging Values
Every squad should define her meaning and values. It’s the direction we need when things get tough. A nice way is to visualize how success looks like in terms of: the meaning of the squad, the values they live and the customer experience or customer value. The customer value and feedback will become clear at the client demo or another way of client interaction.
The meaning and values can be evaluated at the retrospective. But as mentioned before we need a certain amount of trust to improve our team dynamics.
As you probably know MVP is the agile term for Minimum Viable Product. In the header it says: Meaning, Values and Patrick. Of course, this is a joke and instead of the (Patrick) Lencioni Pyramid other theories can be used to create a high performing team. But no matter what; it all starts with trust and a safe space.
When the level of trust is high we are able to provide and receive feedback in a positive way. We dare to speak up and challenge team members for they will know it’s nothing personal; it’s about realizing the Squads meaning!
Want to make sure your squad(s) will happily deliver true customer value instead of MVP’s? Get in contact!