After being created, the team goes through a stage of formation and maturity, towards excellence.
How do we move from Childhood to Formation?
In the first place it takes time. Through successive sprints, planning sessions, reviews, retrospectives, etc., the team has been doing their learning and begins to adapt their practices and behaviors towards their goals.
The Scrum Master, or Agile Coach, should help the team, always remembering what the roles in Scrum are, their values and their pillars. As a facilitator, he encourages decision making by asking questions about the reasons for that decision. As a coach, he helps the team look at the outcome of the decisions they make to see if they are what they want, or whether they have to adapt again.
The team seeks to improve its estimates by doing inspection and adaptation. They do this, for example, during the sprint Retrospective.
The “Defnition of Done” must always be present and be understood and assimilated by all. Adapted whenever needed.
The Product Owner should take more ownership of the product backlog and be responsible for keeping it up to date and prioritized. The Scrum Master should help the Product Owner find the best way to maintain the product backlog. He should also encourage and facilitate communication between the Product Owner and the Development team as well as between the Product Owner and the Stakeholders.
Like plants, teams need to be watered in childhood so that their roots become strong, and allow them to grow healthy to maturity. Later they will bear fruit of excellence.
The Scrum Master should keep the team focused on the purpose of daily meetings: inspect and adapt. This moment should be used to plan the day, redistribute tasks and identify difficulties, which should be addressed next.
The team should see the moment of the retrospective as an opportunity to stop, listen and watch, and then take actions. The Scrum Master should help the team to take small steps, ones that the “legs” (of the team), still in formation, can take without falling. These small steps must be followed up in order to the team be able to see if it is going in the right direction.
In order to move from Childhood to Formation, the Scrum Master still has a very visible role, less teacher and more facilitator.
And you, how do you help your teams grow?
(picture: planting a rose bush in our garden)