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It's All About the Mindset

How a team's positive mindset can influence its success

24 December 2015

Sayi Sarat Chandra Parvatam
Cigniti Technologies Ltd

The way we think affects the way we perform a task. Isn't it so? Similarly, each team member's mindset has an effect on the outcome of the team's efforts.

Whether you are referring to the Waterfall or the Agile method, it is all about teamwork. Regardless of which model you adopt, the ultimate goal is to get the best output from the team. So when we ask whether the model really matters, the answer is yes. But what matters most is the mindset of the people on the team. The model just gives a reference. It is the mindset that ultimately gets things done.

There have been many instances in which teams have failed due to internal conflict, both when using the Waterfall model or the Agile model. Believing in yourself and the team is necessary. The unity of the team is the only factor that can achieve better results each day.

Implementing the Agile model is feasible when commonalities exist among team members. We know that the Agile principles concentrate more on "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools." This clearly indicates that people are more important. Treating all people with due respect and giving them the necessary freedom will automatically make the project a big success.

By prioritizing people over projects, we claim that the team is more important. The team is based completely on trust; it's what keeps the team together. Once the trust among team members is lost, the team is at the verge of failure, and reaching the team vision is way beyond imagination.

By default, Agile and Scrum provide the team philosophy as part of their working patterns. They have a simple framework of incremental improvements and demonstrate a value add to the customer. The entire team has to work toward common goals, such as improving the customer experience.

A team with internal conflicts that includes members who are driven by their individual motives doesn't flourish. Such teams can't innovate or contribute their best toward customer satisfaction, which ultimately leads to their failure.

Unlike the team with internal conflicts, the team that adapts Agile principles is self-motivated and self-driven. Whenever there are conflicts or impediments, the ScrumMaster facilitates the team, and as the team emerges and evolves with good Agile values, it flourishes and provides its best results.

People who follow the Agile model see it as a dynamic approach, and they inculcate the zeal and enthusiasm toward work, bring in the positive change across the team, and give an energetic boost to the organization as a whole. Simple things that can constantly improve the team's performance are done regularly. All of this is about the mindset.
The Agile community is abundant with opportunities. There is a way to share resources, experiences, and ideas iteratively and regularly, which forms the core of the Agile model. This empowers everyone with the ability to lead. Personal success depends on the extent to which this philosophy is understood and applied. People already accustomed to some way of organizing projects may also find the Agile transformations a little difficult because they come with only the necessary amount of courage, persistence, passion, and excitement.

The cultural theme of the process model has a lot to do with efficiency and work power. The central theme of Agile is accountability and responsibility and not that of command and control, as in 20th-century organizations.

To change your company culture, consider implementing these actions:
  1. Employee reviews. Either everyone gives reviews or no one does. This gives a sense of equality within the team.
  2. Meetings. Make meetings more flexible by making them more goal oriented rather than agenda oriented. Ensure the comfort of your participants rather than enforce the rules of the organization.
  3. Communication. Encourage direct communication rather than formal, indirect communication through e-mails. Face-to-face talks are better and unambiguous.
  4. Team building. Trust is what drives a team. Uniqueness in every team bolsters performance.
  5. Campaigns. A new way to campaign, such as bringing together like-minded people to analyze each other's performance, can signal a big breakthrough for the improvement of individual skills.


Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 4 (6 ratings)


Robert Day, CSM, 1/4/2016 9:34:35 AM
On communication: I often send an e-mail but back it up with a quick face-to-face meeting. Then you have the advantages of both - the personal communication that Agile favours, but a record of the problem, issue or solution that you've discussed - just in case people overlook or park your issue and can't remember where they left it.

That might seem like duplication of effort, but how hard can it be to go and speak to someone and back it up with a mail? (Or vice versa.)
Sayi Sarat Chandra Parvatam, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 1/4/2016 11:17:59 AM
@Robert Day : Thank you for bringing that up. I agree with you In my experience felt that more of face to face interactions have helped with co-located teams - If the teams are spread across then it helped me having an email + follow up as needed. Hope this helps
Meghan Robinson, CSM,CSPO, 3/17/2016 4:13:14 PM
Would you be okay with us highlighting this article on our new AgileCareers Blog?

You can view the blog here:

I look forward to hearing your response! Thanks.
Sayi Sarat Chandra Parvatam, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 6/5/2016 9:39:49 PM
@Meghan Robinson : Yes, please go ahead and publish this - Thank you

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