Working in iterations, taking care of quality, estimating work items efficiently, and collaborating with other team members take time and patience. However, if there is no chance of reaching a high commitment-to-progress ratio, then the team coach should react appropriately by discovering and addressing the underlying reasons. The most common reasons for continuous over-commitment include the following:
- The factors influencing the commitment-to-progress ratio are set up in an unfavorable way: tasks are too difficult for your team to grasp, the definition of “done” is too vague, the environment is distracting, etc.
- The environment cannot be embraced by the team members in a predictable fashion due to nature of the tasks (see part 2)
- Team members do not possess key skills.
- The team members feel a strong pressure (real or imaginary) to deliver more and, as a result, commit to more than they can handle. Because of this, they cannot focus on improvements and tend to repeat the same flaws.
- The team has no motivation to change their way of working.
It might also be tough for experienced teams to embrace new subjects, which results in a long period of over-commitment. However, the more a team is mature, the less time it takes for its members to get back to the high ratio.
Figure 6: Sudden ratio deterioration