ing, where enthusiasm typically hits an
all-time low because the team’s skills
are still low. A “demonstrating” style of
leadership can be especially helpful in
After the “storm” passes, a team will
move into the norming stage, where
both their enthusiasm and skills are
growing. Real work will get done at his
point. The team leader can now act as
a guide. Ultimately, the team will move
into the performing stage evidenced
by high skills and enthusiasm. The
team leader becomes an enabler in this
stage. It is the performing stage where
the team is the most productive.
Eventually, the team will cease to exist and move into the adjourning stage.
Ideally, this stage is done gracefully
and supportively, rather than messily
and destructively. The group needs a
sense of closure. They need a time to
pull all of their accomplishments together and be recognized for a job well
done. How a group experiences their
adjourning stage can have a major impact on how the group’s members will
function in a future group.
Note that the first four stages of team
development form a cycle. As a team
experiences a new task for the first
time or the people on the team change,
they may well find that they will move
from the performing to forming stage
and start the cycle all over again. A well
functioning team will tend to move
through the four stages back to the
performing stage fairly quickly.
DIMENSIONS IN TEAM WORK
While the teamwork lifecycle plays an
important part in understanding the
tenets of agile development, one must
also consider individual interactions
between team members. As a group of
people work together to form a team,
there are three dimensions at play:
social, collaborative, and task [ 3].
The social dimension deals with the
interpersonal relationships between
team members, which can be summarized by the terms cohesion, trust
and team identity. Cohesion deals with
the “closeness” of the interpersonal
relationships. Team members must
trust each other so they’ll feel comfortable expressing new ideas. Given
time, teams take on a strong team
identity. This might simply be a name
or a shared sense of purpose, but often
manifests itself in the physical world
with team logos, mugs, and shirts, etc.
is about a method,
and set of guidelines
delivery of software
Figure 1: In an agile workflow, teams of developers move through several phases,
building skills and becoming more productive along the way.
Rising Enthusiasm Growing Skills
How the team works together defines the collaborative dimension.
Here, we’re looking at conflict and consensus. Conflict should not be viewed
as a negative thing; it is simply the expression of disagreement. How that
disagreement is dealt with determines
if the team moves forward or backward. Functional teams learn how to
grow from the inevitable conflicts and
move to consensus.
The task dimension deals with de-cision-making and implementation.
A team must be able to make decisions and implement them if they are
to accomplish anything. The degree
to which a team is able to do so determines how effective they will be.
Each of the three dimensions interacts, to some degree, with the other
two. For example if a team member
has a strained relationship with another team member, conflict may not
be dealt with appropriately and poor
decisions will be made.
Given these models of teamwork, the
agile development methodology seeks
to optimize the effectiveness of teamwork and collaboration. Eric Skopec
and Dayle Smith suggest there are seven indicators of effectiveness [ 8]: