Something that came across to me last week when delivering a suite of Agile courses is how high-performance teams emerge. One day of the course covers the identification of reuirements as stories; to help make it real we used two actual projects that the customer is about to start. They are the two most important pieces of work this group is currently facing, so the pressure is real.
We had 25-or-so people in the class, so they split into two groups (based around the teams that will actually work on the projects). I briefly explained the theory of stories and turned the teams loose.
It was wonderful to behold – there was a bit of thrashing at the beginning, then the teams self-organised and worked fantastically together. After about 2 hours we paused and had a brief retrospective (what’s working, what’s not, what still confuses me…) to ensure the teams remained on point.
The session continued until about 4:30, at which time we stopped and asked what had been achieved. The reaction was one of wonder – in the course of a single day of workshop they had scoped and prioritised the two most important pieces of work facing their group for the next 6 months. Every person in the teams understood their project goals and objectives and what the most important features need to deliver.
Some of the comments I heard inclided:
We achieved in one day what normally takes us six weeks
For the first time I understand why we are doing a project
It was an energising experience for me to facilitate, and I got the feeling it was great for the participants.
I’m going to send this link to the people who were in the session and ask them to comment. I wonder if their experiences were the same as mine…
Posted by Shane Hastie