T-minus 10… 9… 8… We have lift-off!
Getting new teams to work together is hard. Really. Hard.
Is it because there is so much hype around new Agile teams? Or is it because there is such a focus on “doing things right” (or “doing” Agile right), that we forget about the people actually doing the work? Regardless of the reason, before we can change the way people work... we need to focus on the things that are important for teamwork to work!
We believe that the key to high-performance teams is creating an intentional culture that respects and embraces diversity - whether it be race, gender, class, culture, age, beliefs, language, skills or background. So join us as we explore the Team Canvas – sort of like a Business Model Canvas for teamwork - covering nine essential teamwork elements:
- Purpose - Why we are doing what we are doing?
- People & Roles - What are our names, roles and responsibilities?
- Common goals - What do we as a group want to achieve together?
- Personal goals - What do I as an individual want to achieve?
- Team values - What do we really stand for and believe in?
- Needs and expectations - What do each of us need to be successful in a diverse team?
- Rules & Activities - How do we communicate and keep everyone up to date?
- Strengths & Assets - What skills do we have in the team?
- Weaknesses & Risks - What are the weaknesses we have, as an individual and as a team?
We will walk through our agenda for team lift-offs, facilitation posters and preparation work required, materials needed, and facilitation tips and tricks. All packaged in a handy pocket guide, that you can use to explore tried and tested techniques for each essential element. We will also have an opportunity to practice some of these techniques during the session.
Get ready to lift-off your team in T-minus 10... 9... 8...
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
Participants will have all the techniques listed in a handy pocket guide, to serve as a reminder of the session afterwards.
Lift-off Introduction: 5 min
We talk through lifting-off teams and the importance of creating an intentional team culture that respects and embraces diversity (whether it be race, gender, class, culture, age, beliefs, language, skills or background), as well as the importance of diversity in teams and why companies need to care about it. We will briefly touch on the difference between Agile Chartering and Team Chartering. During this talk, we will focus on Team Chartering.
Introduce the Team Canvas: 10 min
We introduce the Team Canvas and the 9 segments (each person will have an A3 copy of the Team Canvas, folded in the back of their booklet). We will also have A0 copies around the room for teams to use through the workshop. We cover how long the workshop takes, and how frequently teams should revisit their team canvas e.g. when a new person joins the team, etc.
Purpose: 5 min
One of the presenters will “role play” a good product owner Product Owner and help the team answer “Why are we doing what we are doing in the first place?”. We show a video for a team purpose.
People & Roles: 5 min
See attached poster titled “People & Roles”. We will talk through how to use this technique in a workshop and show what completed posters would look like at the end of the session. At this point, we introduce the concept of “rotating flip charts” as a facilitation technique.
Common Goals | Personal Goals: 5 min
These two segments use the same technique, so we will cover them together. Most people will have heard of SMART goals, yet few people know how to break them down into something other than “beauty queen” statements. We will guide participants through the following questions to write goal statements. Each person has the opportunity to write one personal goal in their pocket guide - using the following format:
- Specific (What do I want to do? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? Which resources or limits are involved?)
- Measurable (How much? How many? How will I know it is accomplished? What metrics will I use?)
- Achievable (How will I accomplish this goal? How realistic is this goal based on other constraints like e.g. finances)
- Relevant (Does this goal seem worthwhile? Is this the right time to pursue the goal? Am I or are we the right people to achieve this goal? Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?)
- Time-bound (When? What can I do in six months? What can I do in six weeks? What can I do now?)
For the practical activity: Team members will work through the SMARTER canvas on a personal goal.
Strengths & Assets | Weaknesses & Risks: 5 min
These two segments use the same technique, so we will address them together. We will cover how to build a Team Competency Matrix by identifying competence level for each team member (novice, practitioner, expert) against a set of skills. We will also show how the Team Competency Matrix relates to the People & Roles segment in the form of “Ask me about…” statements. See “Team Competency Matrix “for an idea of how the matrix will look.
Values: 5 min
We introduce the group to the “Do it yourself values kit” http://noop.nl/2009/10/the-do-it-yourself-team-values-kit.html/. This is an important element for diverse teams as values will often mean different things in different cultures (e.g. in South Africa, for Zulu people it is a sign of respect not to look an elder in the eye when they are talking to you, whereas in "Western cultures" not looking someone in the eye is seen as a sign of disrespect). We will help participants identify the behaviour they associate with a particular value to reduce misunderstanding between team members.
For the practical activity: Teams will play a version of the "Do it yourself values" game - excluding the input from stakeholders. Team members will have a chance to identify personal values, and then the team will have a chance to identify and clarify team values and the behaviour they expect to see".
Needs and expectations: 5 min
We will introduce participants to needs and how they can be used to deepen self-discovery and to facilitate greater understanding and connection between people. We will go through a way of helping team members express those needs to the team, as well as the expectations they have of the team to help support those needs. This is a tough conversation for many people to have (especially in diverse teams) – so we will provide practical ways to create a safe environment for teams to share this information.
For the practical activity: We have created a card game using the needs listed by the Centre for Non-Violent Communication (https://www.cnvc.org/Training/needs-inventory). Using a silent technique (similar to the Bockman technique), each person will be able to identify their top 10 needs.
Rules & Activities: 5 min
We will briefly touch on the “typical working agreement” conditions that many Agile teams already have in place e.g. core working hours, when and where iteration events will take place, etc. We also include how we acknowledge and respect each other's cultural backgrounds e.g. in one of our teams, the Hindu festival of Diwali is celebrated with a traditional feast and sweetmeats, and no meetings are allowed on a Friday at midday when Muslim teammates go to the mosque for prayers.
Practical: 30 min
Each team will have the opportunity to select one or more of the following techniques to practice (see relevant section above for information on the practical activity):
- Do it yourself values
- SMARTER goals
- Needs and expectations card game
Feedback: 5 min
Questions & Closing: 5 min
- Learn facilitation techniques that will instantly help you in your role as a facilitator or Scrum Master, to get your team to high performance.
- Stop unproductive team conflict before it starts, by discussing things that matter to the team BEFORE they start working together.
- Get everyone on to the same page. Fast!
- Understand the essential elements to make teamwork work.
- How to use the Team Canvas to create an intentional team culture that respects and embraces diversity.
Anyone who is interested in creating a high-performance team culture
Prerequisites for Attendees
Nothing - we will provide all materials needed for the workshop, along with a handy reference guide to all the techniques we cover.