Working in pairs with teams – Before starting

In Agile, Agile Coaching, Agile Teams from Forming to Performing, Change, Coaching teams from forming to performing, Collaboration, Scrum Master by chuzzete1 Comment

Finally I managed to convince one of my colleagues, to work in tandem with an Agile team, which uses the Scrum framework to deliver infrastructure services and recently requested our support to continue making progress.

In this first part of the story, I will walk you through my views about what we did together before starting working with the team:

1.Discuss the scope of our intervention with team’s managers and the ScrumMaster: we reviewed with them, what they wanted to do to support the team, in a 30-minute meeting, where we asked what objectives they wanted to achieve with the team in the upcoming 3 months. In this case, leaders wanted to determine the mission and responsibilities of the team, identify a strategy to manage unplanned work during the sprint, make it visible and receive training to improve Scrum events quality, especially for retrospectives, backlog refinement and the daily stand up.

2. We asked for advice about the best time to start with the intervention: we asked team’s managers to tell us about the best moment for them and their team, to start working with. They suggested making contact with team members by facilitating a retrospective.

3. Prepare the content of the retrospective: given that it was our first contact with the Agile team, we decided that only one of us would play the role of facilitator during the event, while the other one would be present just observing and taking notes, to share them afterwards to help with two goals: improving the quality of the sprint retrospective and elevating facilitation skills of the chosen facilitator, who, according to its own judgement, was responsible to decide about the sprint retrospective agenda and then propose it to the Agile team.

4.Trust each other: a key factor to achieve the results we got since we began this experiment, has been the mutual trust we have had since we started thinking about the intervention. In this case, I already knew my colleague Stephane Bourque a bit, but it was our first intervention together with an Agile team practicing the Scrum framework.

5. Learn from each other and give us space by listening actively: in all my interventions, my colleague was attentive and when it was my turn to speak I listened actively. I did the same, in the moments that it was his turn to intervene. The key has always been to listen to us to learn from the experiences of the other and we have done it as if we were dancing, because to work as a couple you have to know how to dance, in case you did not know 🙂

#Transforming teams, thinking of the week

This experience has been very enriching for me and according to the feedback of my colleague, it has also been very enriching for him. The question I ask myself is, if this model in binomial I liked it so much and it seems to have had a positive impact on the team (in the next installment I tell you), what do you think we could do to work in pairs more often and thus increase the impact and quality of our interventions in Agile teams?

In the next installment, I will be commenting on the second part of the story, so that you can read about how we did during our intervention in pairs with this team and the impact we had, according to the team and its leaders.

Let’s keep going!



  1. Pingback: Working in pairs with teams - During the intervention | Jesus Mendez

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