A “Team” is generally defined as a group of people. Who work together towards a shared goal. In my experience, effective interaction forms the bedrock of such a ‘team’ – a factor often taken for granted. All the more true in an agile environment, where one sees high levels of ambiguity, uncertainty and diversity. Some of the common issues brought up by managers / leads include dysfunctional teams, poor participation, a lack of openness, poor innovation levels, and less than optimal outcomes. A lack of effective collaboration across team members was a common issue observed across all the aforementioned scenarios. While there is no singular factor that derails collaboration, I’ll attempt to highlight a few key ones in the next few paragraphs. Cross functional team members, geographically dispersed teams, digital dependencies, poor communication practices, diversity of skill sets, cultural differences, structural tension, power struggle within the team, most ironically an over emphasis on collaboration for the sake of it – are some of the most common disruptive factors I’ve come across. I won’t delve into specifics of dealing with each of these issues. However, I’d like to share a few tried and tested pointers that will help establish a healthy climate for collaboration within agile teams.
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