The importance of a real team

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Scrum requires a real team.

The word ‘team’ is often used, often in different ways.  So, let us define it.

According to “The Discipline of Teams” by Katzenbach and Smith, this is what you should look for:

1. A meaningful common purpose that the Team has helped shape.

2. Specific performance goals that flow from the common purpose.

3. A mix of complementary skills. Including technical/functional, decision-making, and interpersonal.

4. A strong commitment to how the work is done.

5. Mutual accountability.

For more discussion, see The Discipline of Teams.

The team needs to be small (~7), stable, cross-functional, and self-organizing.  The team is in it together.  And should help each other.

In general it is best if the team is fully dedicated to one missson, one purpose, or at least the one team’s goals.

All of these team characteristics together are key to starting Scrum.  Got to start with a real Team.

Note: Not everyone wants to be on a Team.  And for sure, not everyone walks into the office knowing how to act in a real Team.

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