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This session in the LAST Conference was one of those which I was eager to attend and I can say I was not disappointed at all (even though I attended the session standing at the door of the room!!)

Presenter started the session by comparing the AGILE teams with sports team. Sports team analogy for AGILE is very valid as people with different skills interact to achieve a common goal.

There are four steps for Building a High Performing Team:

1. Knowing the Business

a) Vision, Brand, Goals and values of Business should be clearly understood and KPIs should be based on Business Goals.

b) To know the business well, analyse quarterly results, survey customers and get feedback.

c) Market research should be done,  usability testing should be carried out.

d) Value chain from customer to you should be understood and impact of each Business decision should be taken into account.

2.  Wanting to Deliver:

People have to be motivated so that they want to deliver. There should be a drive from within to achieve the goals.

The 3 things important for personal satisfaction are:

a) AUTONOMY: People need to have choice, they should be swapped and moved around. It’s powerful to allow people to control their environment and be in control of their own work.

b) MASTERY: People should be allowed to master the skills they are interested in. Once they do so, they should train others. People who initiate to learn are more productive. “Ability to Learn” should be considered when hiring people.

c) PURPOSE: People should know how to contribute.

3. Working Together:

Team members should be able to work together and use their individual skills to achieve the desired outcome.  Teamwork itself is an individual skill and should be cultivated well.

Refer this video for an awesome presentation about teamwork at:

Chris Avery defines 3 rules for building teams:

a. Align Goals

b. Make and Keep Agreements

c. Clear Direction and Purpose.

Next, the presenter talked about the Five Dysfunctions of Team. These are shown in the below picture:


The dysfunctions are displayed inside the triangle and the consequences are mentioned outside against each dysfunction.

4. Empowerment to Change Things

Its a famous quote by W.E. Deming :

“A bad system will beat a good person every time”. So true!

When people have control over things, it makes them more enthusiastic and productive.