How does teamwork work?
We all know the real secret to successful agile projects, right? It’s the team and team work. More and more importance is placed on the need for teams to collaborate to deliver successful business outcomes. Teams that work effectively together are the key to providing real value to project stakeholders and end customers alike. Close collaboration is required to ensure everyone understands what is (or is not) valuable, as well as recognise what is needed from each individual to contribute to achieving the desired goal.
But how does teamwork work? What do we need to be an effective team member? How do we really collaborate with our teams? Collaboration is much more than just communication. So what is the key to true collaboration? What skills do we need to collaborate successfully? It’s the agile mindset that enables teams to truly adopt the agile values and principles to reap real benefits, not simply do the agile practises and ceremonies. What do we need to do to truly embody the agile way of thinking?
Awareness, or more precisely, mindfulness. Mindfulness is the key ingredient that enables true collaboration, starting with the traits we need at an individual level that lead to more effective interactions at a team level. After all, the first key value from the agile manifesto is, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. This session will discuss how mindfulness is the secret ingredient that enables people to genuinely embody the agile mindset, and collaborate well.
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscience or aware. In teams, and in particularly in agile teams, mindfulness is a basic necessity to enable us to be truly collaborative. It enables us to truly be alert to what is happening with our work, with our team, with our customers and stakeholders and the organisation. Just like a drop of water falling into a still pond, mindfulness begins within each of us, and radiates out to affect the team, our stakeholders, as well as the entire project community and the whole organisation.
Outline/structure of the Session
This will be a passionate talk with audience interaction and participation encouraged throughout. Some background pictures will be used to illustrate metaphors.
0- 5 : Introduction and scene setting.
6 – 12 : What is mindfulness? Explanation of what is it at an individual level using anecdotes and stories from personal experience. The audience will be asked thought provoking questions to see how mindful they are.
13 – 18 : What are the benefits of mindfulness. Explanation of the benefits that can be realised at an individual level, along with examples from personal experience and some research findings.
19 – 25 : Why mindfulness is important to agile teams. Examples will be provided of the benefits that can be realised. The audience will be asked to think about how they work with their teams and stakeholders, the issues they face, and how mindfulness can help address problems.
26 - 30 : Brief explanation of how to practice mindfulness, with opportunity for questions.
30 – 35 : A brief mindfulness exercise for the audience to perform, with a debrief and discussion on the audiences' experience.
36 – 40 Conclusion and summary of the 4 pillars of mindfulness and how to "FIND-It"!
41 – 45 Questions and answers with wrap up.
Drawing on her extensive experience in I.T., along with more than 20 years as a mindfulness practitioner, this talk will present compelling reasons why mindfulness is an essential element to enable true teamwork and collaboration. Data drawn from scientific research on mindfulness will also be presented. The following questions will be addressed:
- What is mindfulness?
- Why is mindfulness important to teams, particularly agile teams?
- What are the benefits to the individual of practicing mindfulness?
- What are the benefits to agile teams of adopting mindfulness practises?
- How do we practise mindfulness?
- What do we need to make mindfulness really work for us?
The talk is suited to all levels, from beginners to advanced agile practitioners. As a take-a-way, the acronym ‘FIND-It’ will provide a quick reference to enable participants to understand the 4 pillars of mindfulness. FIND-It means:
F –Focus and internal clarity;
I – Identify our own state of mind, understand what’s going on within;
N – Needs of the team, understand what’s going on around us;
D – Drop-it! Let go of attitudes that are counterproductive;
It – erate …it’s a cycle to repeat, daily, weekly, constantly.
Anyone working in any team