Agile development is all about teamwork. The members of a team need to effectively communicate and coordinate to finish a piece of work. There are many benefits to the framework’s reliance on teams (and with teamwork in general). But, like anything else, there are drawbacks. We’ve seen these firsthand with our AgilityHealth Radar Team Retrospectives, which breakdown the issues a team is experiencing.
This is why I found the article “Team spirit” in the March 19th edition of The Economist so interesting. The article shares findings from the “Global Human Capital Trends” report by Deloitte, stating that teamwork has reached a new high in organizations.
On the whole, companies are seeking cross-disciplinary teams that focus on one particular product, problem or customer – no more silos! These teams have the power to manage themselves and they spend markedly less time reporting upwards. Given the rise of Agile (in departments beyond just IT), this is no surprise.
But, like we’ve seen with the Agile teams we evaluate, teamwork fosters its own set of issues:
- Temporary contractors make it difficult to achieve a common culture.
- Groupthink can be unavoidable.
- Teamwork may result in confusion, delay and poor decision-making.
Ultimately, there needs to be more discussion about how to manage teams – like the conversation facilitated by AgilityHealth Radar. And that discussion needs to be put into action. Shifting to a new model is easy enough, but it’s necessary to analyze and tweak that model to continue to progress.
Read the article: “Team Spirit,” The Economist