The secret sauce of a team (Outer team factors)

In Agile, Coaching teams from forming to performing, Forming Agile Teams, Inspiring, Retrospectives, Trust by chuzzete1 Comment

In my previous post “the Inner team factor to reach greatness“, I have shared some thoughts about the outcome of a retrospective with one of my teams, who listed the “key elements which have allowed them reach a high level of maturity, ownership, calmness and responsibility“. Like I said back then, I was and I’m still surprised about the attitude and the quality of the majority of the conversations that we are having so far, that I’ve got inspired to continue exploring about the subject which has lead us to analyse also the external factors required for a team to reach great results and delighted customers.

So, let me share our findings about the Outer team factors to deliver amazing results in an agile development driven organization:

magic-sauce (One's team journey)

Let’s talk about needs/problems instead of solutions

  • Collaborate toward getting needs and problems solved: We have noticed that stakeholders have a tendency to talk about potential solutions that they want the team to get implemented as their needs, instead of a problem that requires to be solved. This approach have created multiple conflicts, frustration and limited collaboration between stakeholders and development teams.
  • Getting well formulated needs and problems to be solved has offered teams, opportunities to be creative and propose innovative solutions adapted to what brings more value to the customer.
  • Elevated pitch from team members when demonstrating work done, has enabled stakeholders to better understand what’s been built, and for what reasons. All these has contributed to create an environment of trust and open collaboration.

Product ownership 

  • Empowered product owners that own their products and take their own decisions have been more efficient, creative, innovative and motivated than those who are just pushing papers and working as stakeholders proxy’s.

Managed Expectations

  • Having Product Owners/Manager negotiating openly what to expect from the team to be delivered, has reduced the additional and unnecessary pressure that comes with unmanaged expectations. It has also allowed teams to share what has been done and what is in progress without fear.
  • Have a recurrent way to discuss about priorities and scope, has helped to keep expectations at their appropriated level. In addition, Product owners, Stakeholders and development teams have develop a sense of collaboration that motivates and makes people believe that anything is possible.

Shared responsibility, collaboration and trust 

  • In us we “Trust”: We Trust the team, the system and the people that we work with to get things done. When that’s not the case, we make it visible using the mechanisms available in the agile development process (In this case, the sprint reviews are used for it)

This what we have noticed work for us outside of the team but what about you? What’s your team’s secret sauce to deliver great results?

For my next article tell me, what you want to talk about? Share your ideas as comments to this post and I’ll be honored to write about the most popular topic.

Wishing you all the best,


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