How Single Teams Master Agility?
Part 3 of my 8 part Training Series on Scaling Agile Practices
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Mastering Single Team Agility? But Why?
Welcome to our latest exploration in the journey of Scaling Agile Practices!
Having addressed the Challenges of Scaling and the Core First Principles of Scaling Agile, we now turn our focus to a fundamental aspect that often goes overlooked but is critical in our search for scaling excellence: Mastering Single Team Agility.
But why, you might ask.
Why do we need to know about mastering single-team agility when we are discussing scaling agility to multiple teams?
The answer lies in the basic understanding of Agile itself.
As we all know, Agile is not a methodology; it's a mindset, a culture that thrives on collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement.
To scale this “mindset” across multiple teams, we must first understand its application and effectiveness at the most basic unit of any organization – a single team.
Because really, when you think about it, what Scrum and other frameworks like it are doing is moving from individual person development to team development.
This is scaling at the smallest possible level.
So it's worth understanding how they solve the “smallest” scaling problem as we scale beyond a single team.
If you have just joined Winning Strategy, here's where we currently stand in our journey:
Perfecting Single-Team Agility ← this post
Multi-team roles and responsibilities
Let’s understand Single Team Agility, which will give us a blueprint for our scaling skyscraper.
Let’s Start with Scrum
To understand how a single team masters Agility, we need a starting point, and starting with Scrum is a great way to lay a strong foundation.
This is because Scrum isn't just a set of rules; it's a thoughtfully designed system that promotes collaboration, feedback, and continuous improvement at a single team level.
So, how does it make it happen?
HOW does Scrum help scale Agility from an individual to a team?
And the answer is through its Events, Artifacts and well-defined Roles
Events like Sprint Planning and Sprint Reviews create an environment that promotes (forces) collaboration, as they require “individuals” to work together toward achieving a common goal, thus forming a “team.”
Artifacts like the Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and the Increment are what the Scrum team uses to communicate and check for defects in the overall sprint. We can use these artifacts to start building feedback loops as they provide something to reflect on.
And then there are Roles.
The Product Owner, The Scrum Master, and The Development Team.
Each of these roles provides us with a single point of truth.
The Product Owner is responsible for the business side of things. They understand why we're doing it and what the business needs are.
The Scrum Master is responsible for the process of how we're doing it and how we're getting it done.
The Development Team is responsible for the implementation. They're the best point of truth for how we're actually going to build it.
All these roles help us identify the clear Decision-Maker who ensures that everyone is on the same page with regard to the “why”, “what” and “how”.
These were just some examples of how Scrum helps us fulfill all of the 8 Core Scaling Principles we discussed in the last post.
Below is a detailed list of all the activities and artifacts of Scrum that fulfil these 8 principles.