I’m really passionate about working with people, observing them, spending time trying to get into what they want in life, identify what motivates their souls and determining what the igniters are that could turn their regular day into a spectacular one. I truly believe that by collaborating, with sincerity, honesty and good intentions everything is possible in this world. That’s why I like working with teams, especially the ones that believe in ‘Agile’; its values and principles, as the foundation to reach greatness. I’ve seen how hope can be created in others, just by trusting their abilities and really believing in them. Management calls it “Empowerment” and here is a reference that could be useful to illustrate what I mean:
“In the book ‘Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute’, the authors illustrate three keys that organizations can use to open the knowledge, experience, and motivation power that people already have. The three keys that managers must use to empower their employees are:
- Share information with everyone;
- Create autonomy through boundaries;
- Replace the old hierarchy with self-managed teams.”
I’ve recently noticed that I have really enjoyed keeping people on the same page, and the way I do it is by sharing as much information as I can with them. In my experience; it’s been so powerful that the quality and the level of engagement that it brings to the equation make it something that I can’t avoid doing.
How do I do it?
By being the inseparable partner of the Product Owner. Below are some of the things I can help him with:
- Set product goals for the next period (I personally use a quarter (3 periods)) and start negotiating with the stakeholders.
- Identify customer priorities based on their needs.
- Organize the Company’s product backlog and keep it in sync with its goals.
- Validate his/her product/service Vision periodically.
- Gaining self-confidence to manage his/her Product(s)/Service(s).
- Leading the team to reach their product/service objectives.
What tools do I use?
Being physically and mentally there; present for him/her/them. I’ve found that I enjoy doing it and it helps with building the required trust to establish a partner relationship.
Another thing that I’ve noticed when working with ‘Agile’ teams is that I enjoy performing the facilitator role. In my experience, good facilitation helps with creating the safety required to allow teams to collaborate, self-organize, improve people interactions and reinforce autonomy. As a direct consequence, the team performs better and delivers higher quality results.
How do I do it?
- During ‘Agile’ ceremonies, like stand ups, sprint reviews and sprint retrospectives I am used to asking open ended questions, as my way to avoid telling them what I think is the right answer.
- I always observe people’s behavior so by identifying dysfunctions; I can get the team to figure out what works best for them.
- I stay cool and keep negative thoughts away as much as I can; so that I don’t take anything said personally.
- I bring colors and try my best to make the team feel that the room is the safest place in the world for them.
- I used to think about dancing, because when dancing I’m connected with myself and that is when I’m more authentic.
- I do my best to trust my instincts, so I can trust theirs and, they, in turn, can trust theirs.
- I will take a 10 to 20 minute break when my body feels it’s required.
This is just an introduction to some of the things that I like to do when working with teams and there is more that I’m willing to share, but what do you think? What are the things that you like to do when working with Agile teams?
Thank you for reading and sharing what is important to you.
Jesús E. Méndez A.