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The Agile team and communication

April 25, 2014.

It is impossible not to talk about team and collaboration when talking about agility. The team and the people that make it up form the first value of the Agile Manifesto: “People and their interactions more than processes and tools. »

4 toxines de la communication qu’il faut éviter

L'équipe agile et la communication

It is impossible not to talk about team and collaboration when talking about agility. The team and the people that make it up form the first value of the Agile Manifesto: "People and their interactions more than processes and tools. »

However, building a high-performance team is far from simple.

I participated in a conference given by Dominique Barbès and Carole Théot on the Agile team. This conference opened my eyes to several facts about a team.

Observation

A team is not simply the sum of the individual talents of its members.

You can take 4 people with exceptional talent and have a dysfunctional team.

If each person pushes on their own to improve things without consensus, a common vision, or at least some communication, the team will turn a bit square. Members will start to burn out, become demotivated and work less and less well together.

The team will not necessarily be better if we add a talented person. You already had 4 people with great talent. Adding a new person to this already fragile balance could be even worse.

What are the criteria that make a team high-performing?

Remember a great team you participated in. It could be a sports team, a music group, a team for a work project. What did you like about this team?

Here is a personal example, I loved working on an internal project at Spiria. Despite the fact that the team was composed of people with different roles, there was a lot of respect for the expertise of each person. Communication was present without being too intrusive, everyone proposed initiatives to improve the project and finally we shared the responsibility for our good moves and failures.

2 catégories : productivité et positivité

From this example, it is possible to highlight different characteristics of a high-performing team. They can be divided into two categories: productivity and positivity.

Productivity

  • Decision Making
  • Alignment (common direction)
  • Accountability (co-responsible)
  • Team Leadership
  • Objectives and strategies
  • Initiative
  • Making better use of expertise

Positivity

  • Respect
  • Confidence
  • Valuing diversity
  • Camaraderie
  • Communication
  • Constructive interaction, sense of recognition
  • Optimism

In a team, there are always positive points. You have to try to find a common point between yourself and the other members in order to work from that point. For example, if everyone has a sense of initiative and comes up with ideas, a good way to create cohesion within the team could be to hold a meeting to share everyone's ideas and assign tasks to everyone. This would foster a basis for communication and a common vision for the team.

Toxins of communication

As life is not full of unicorns, each team has its toxins. We must keep in mind that our teammates are not malicious when they carry a toxin.

Each person tends to fall into one of these categories: blaming, silence, denigration and defense.

The blame

  • Personal attack
  • Review
  • Domination
  • Excessive criticism

Silence

  • Avoidance
  • Passivity
  • Disengagement
  • Lack of cooperation

Denigration

  • Hostile rumors
  • Lack of respect
  • Contempt
  • Salting

Defense

  • Diversion
  • Over-justification
  • Closing to liability
  • Victim

To change the dynamics of a team that is not going well, we need to know which toxins we tend to go to when there is a problem. We also need to see the team's toxin in general.

Time

The new team must be given time to get used to it. Encourage communication, exchange of ideas at the beginning of the project and the results will be felt later. Set a common goal, share the results together. Foster a climate where everyone is responsible. Retrospectives are a good way to take stock together. It's not just a waste of time, your team will be more successful later.

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