Teambuilding in Agile is more than taking a group of people out to a pub or restaurant! At its core, Agile is about teaming, solving problems, or building solutions together rather than individually. It is, therefore, remarkable that little guidance is given in any Agile Framework regarding building and measuring teamwork.
The word “Team” in Agile is loosely used and sometimes merely refers to a group of people with a single apparent purpose, often co-located. Yet to be effective, a team is more than this in an Agile context. It is the creation of a unit that readily works together in an environment of collaboration and mutual support. Josephine Klein concluded that team building is relatively trouble-free when the task is simple and group members have equal strength. Yet, many Agile Teams’ mission is not simple, and team members frequently have different job grades, skill levels, and experience.
It is, therefore, alarming and frankly disappointing that the most used Agile frameworks omit all but a cursory mention of building a team floating terms like values and self-managing without grounding the concepts in the how! One must dig deep to find Agile material beyond Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs or Bruce Tuckman’s form, storm, norm perform stages of group development. Helpful though these models are, they lack the guidance necessary to turn the theory into action. Agile Lineout, in contrast, presents a model for coaches to develop teamwork or diagnosing challenges measures that can be applied to a team in any activity.