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Does Your Development Team Consist of Team Workers?

12 May 2016

Robin Hackshall
Enigma Consulting and Solutions

The word team is one of the most commonly used words in the Scrum Guide. References to the Scrum team include:
The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity.
Scrum teams deliver products iteratively and incrementally, maximizing opportunities for feedback.
Whether you are using Scrum or another software delivery method, it is highly likely that you will be working as a group in order to achieve some, if not all, of the above. Teams achieve these goals by working together — otherwise known as teamwork. Some of the key attributes that could describe what a "team worker" does are listed below:1
  • Engage in collaborative tasks
  • Prepare to listen to the ideas of others without interrupting them
  • Confidently share ideas with others
  • Consider views of all group members during discussions
  • Work harmoniously and constructively with others in joint activity
  • Make sure that everyone takes a turn when speaking
  • Maintain focus on a task and avoid distractions
  • Accept constructive criticism from others in the group to enable improvement in performance
  • Motivate others to contribute more effectively
  • Understand differences in opinions and respond positively
  • When suggesting ideas, be able to break them into smaller steps to suit the needs of the group
  • Be eager to discuss conflicting issues fairly and reach agreement that enables the group to move on
  • Make the most of other's strengths when organizing work
These attributes can be applied to more than a software delivery team. Teachers at my daughter's school use these attributes as assessment criteria for the Team Worker skills of five- to eleven-year olds. So far, my seven-year-old daughter has been a Self Manager, an Effective Participator, and a Team Worker. She is looking forward to being a Resourceful Thinker, Reflective Learner, and an Independent Enquirer. The purpose of teaching these skills is to empower the pupils' learning.

If a group of five- to eleven-year olds can display these skills, so can the members of a software delivery team. If members of software delivery teams are unable to realize these attributes, then they will not be Team Workers. Not being able to demonstrate these skills may mean that it will take longer for the delivery to be completed, and/or the team will be less likely to succeed.

1 © Focus Education, Ltd. 2014

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.

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