Scrum 201: Team

We want all Scrum teams to become hyper-productive.


Well, so they can enjoy life and be satisfied.  And feel like they accomplished something.  In part, this requires they reach hyper productivity without working any extra hours.

Second, I assume hyper-productivity means greater business value delivered.  This of course will not always be the case. But it should be.

What level is considered hyper-productive?  5x-10x greater than average waterfall productivity.  I will settle for 5x-10x the team’s initial baseline, and the baseline is usually what they are doing the 3rd sprint.

Do all teams do this? No.

Can all teams do this? Depends what you mean by ‘can.’  Probably yes. I expect all teams to try, and to make serious progress.  Meaning: I expect each team to change its firm substantially.


Where do we start?

I think the first thing is: Is this Scrum team a real Team?

Far too often the answer is no.

They don’t think of themselves as a Team. They don’t work as a Team. And they don’t measure Team productivity.

Often we have to start by convincing them they are a Team.


Lots of the work is talk, repeating basic ideas about Teams. Sometimes we must remove non-team players. We must add Team metrics. We must ask managers and customers to view them as a Team.  And we must show them the small successes of good teamwork and build on that.

It is not what they say, it is how they feel and act.  First, how they feel.

Each team has its own team chemistry.  This must be built.

Once they feel like a Team, then it is easier to coach the specific actions that support a Team in being successful.

Often, many people on the Scrum team have never been on a sports team.  Or on a good team at work. So, they don’t have much tacit understanding.  This makes it harder.

Lots of the talk and work is outside the Team. There are people inadvertently destroying the team, through words and actions. As the ScrumMaster, you must change the immediate ‘culture’ to foster the Team.

Not easy. But a good place to start.

I suppose you can play Scrum without really being a Team, a real Team. But Scrum is meant to be played as a strong Team sport.  This is when you will see the real productivity and the real value.



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