What does a high-performing Scrum team look like, and what you should do if you find one?

Eugene LaiTue, 08/13/2019 - 09:56

You have a great team that works well together. Your team understands how to plan, estimate, and deliver working solution to your customers in a consistent manner. Your management team is happy with what they see, but they wonder if you can do more.

How can you tell if your team can become more than it is already, and do even more than they already do? Should you challenge them to perform at a higher level?

I pose these questions intentionally to help you consider this situation: How do you know if you have a high-performing team that is doing its best work?

High-performing Scrum Team

Most Scrum teams never fulfill their true potential for one reason or another. Successful Scrum teams are actually very rare and also very fragile; any change could disrupt the dynamic and negatively impact how the team performs. A change in leadership, organizational structure, team membership, tools, organizational policies/standards…the list goes on and on.

So, if you have a great team that is highly-effective, how do you know if they can give you more? Do you risk disrupting a good thing by trying to change it, or just leave the team alone?

One way you might look at this situation is to ask a few of these questions…

  1. Does the team thrive on getting better on their own?
  2. Does the team come up with new ideas on how to do things?
  3. Do the team members help each other to “get the ball past the goal line”?

If you can honestly answer “Yes” to any of the above questions, it is highly likely that you have a high-performing team that requires minimal external encouragement. This team is special and has great potential to continue getting better with time. Your job as the manager/leader is to NOT add an extra pressure to this team, but giving them clear objectives and the autonomy to make things happen. If you are fortunate enough to be in this position, enjoy the great work that this team is doing, and try to provide opportunities for select members to mentor others. Try to build on this success and cultivate similar team dynamics in other teams while you can!