I have had the chance to experience how it feels to be part of a high performance team, and I can tell you, it feels great.
One of the Agile teams that I’m working with, has made me feel those sensations again recently, so I have decided to retrospect about it and find out those signs that could help us (as Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Line Managers, Leaders) identify when a team has reached this nirvana state that would turn things special, unique.
So here I go with my “own experience” list of signs:
You will see that something different is in the air, within the team. People will offer their help more often to their colleges, they will collaborate to reach their common goal.
2) Pair programming
Pairing is a way to tackle the same requirement in couples, were one is programming and the other one is just observing. I have seen this technique more present lately and the team likes it to get things done faster.
3) Everybody is on the same page (Alignment)
After months of observation, I’ve seen the team going through several statuses, but now if you ask them a random question, no matter who within the team you pick, the answer will be almost the same.
4) People arriving early or leaving late
It seems that the team has hunger to reach iteration goal(s) and they show it. They are engaged with the final result, so without asking, they arrive early or they stay late in order to finish what they have committed to do.
5) Smiles everywhere
It is fun to see them talking, the way that they communicate, they are having fun, they enjoy being part of the team. They love to come to work.
6) Engagement and courage
Pressure is on, so is time to be concentrated in order to deliver. But then, you see them taking decisions by themselves, there is almost no need to guide them, they are by they own. They show that courage required to take controlled risks and they own the space. Is all or nothing, you can see it.
7) Team Organization
These kind of teams are organized. They have found their ways to organize the iteration content in the most effective way.
8) Planning, a crucial factor to succeed
This is really a shift to me, I’ve observed these kind of teams having longer planning sessions that other typical teams. For them, planning is crucial to complete what has requested.
9) High quality interactions
I’ve seen those guys interacting and is crazy how well they listen to each other and how much they care about their team mates opinions. Interesting + challenging conversations, that’s what I’ve seen.
10) Consistently improving results
Something in particular is their consistency. These kind of team, enjoys getting better and better results, so they fight really hard in order to get the best from themselves, and at the top of it, they do it together, and they are able to repeat the experiences, iteration after iteration.
11) Rotating leadership
This sign is extremelly important and you could help to get it by coaching the whole team together and individually. Decisions should be taken in order to self-organize, and there the team would require leadership.
12) Master its Development Process
They master the development process. I’ve seen how the team take advantage of the process in place, they owned and they use it to help them get things done. The development process (Scrum in this case) helps them to get the adecuate rythim to deliver, remind them their role and responsibilities and give them boundaries to keep their work focused.
To me those signs could be seen as a high level of self-organization within the team, but I would like to hear what do you think about it, before arriving too quick, to erroneous conclusions.
Thank you for comments and your support,
High-Performing Teams, Continuos agile
The Three pillars of High Performance, Codegenesys.com