There are distinct sets of behaviours that strengthen as a team becomes more agile. While their growth in these behaviours is not linear, it does follow a predictable pattern of development and team evolution.
Delivery depends on talented people, but because skills are embedded on specific individuals, delivery isn’t scalable and success isn’t repeatable. A team at this stage of its agile journey is typically either just learning how to be agile, or hasn’t firmly committed to changing the way that they work. Choosing a framework and just doing the basics right is key to evolving to the next level.
Archetypal behaviours seen in this stage:
Focus for growth:
What do avoid:
Teams at this level of their learning journey are focused on mastering the basics. Combined with self-organisation, these two key areas are vital to seeing improved throughput, lower costs and reduced delivery risk.
What to avoid:
Teams at this level of maturity should start showing higher levels of productivity, transparency and quality. They typically advance to even higher levels of effectiveness when they learning advanced patterns and practices such as Lean UX, Kanban, and Lean.Evolving
Predictability of quality and delivery will improve when the team and its Product Owner shift focus to creating a sustainable pace. Sustainable pace improves predictability and reduces team burn-out and fatigue. Encourage the team to find its rhythm and establish a state of flow supported by metrics.
Things to avoid:
Stage Four teams are high performers. They should regularly show consistent high throughput at a high level of quality and sustainable pace. It shouldn’t be unusual for these teams to double their throughput when the type of work is consistent over a few months.
Stage Five teams are agile leaders. They look beyond their own team to support others to be agile and contribute to the organisation’s ways of working to improve delivery, quality and the whole operating model. They lead by example.
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As these behaviours become stronger, enterprise agile outcomes grow, including lower costs and faster time to deliver, while maintaining high quality standards.
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