Agile Teamwork - A Stumbling Block or a Stepping Stone to High Performance?


on-target but is it really delivering what the stakeholders want or indeed need?


So, if your Agile Team is to be truly effective you must understand the work preferences of all team members and look at the preferences balance. It will give you an immediate picture of strengths and weaknesses, as far as teamwork is concerned. Information like this helps ensure that everyone’s work preferences are matched to the critical demands of the job they have to do. Where the match is high, our energy flows freely, we are more likely to enjoy our job, stress is lower and we feel happier at work. But all eight work functions must receive the priority they need and never be relegated to lower importance

Is it possible to identify a person's work preferences? Fortunately the answer is 'yes'. Many years of research by Team Management Systems has led them to a reliable and valid way of doing this.


The Types of Work Wheel is a model about essential team tasks but there is a strong relationship with work preferences. For example people with preferences for extroverted relationships and creative information gathering map most often into the Promoting area of the Types of Work Wheel whereas those with introverted relationship preferences and practical information gathering most often prefer Inspecting work. Those who like analytical decision-making and prefer to work in a structured way show a bias for Organizing work whereas those with beliefs decision-making and a more flexible approach to the way they organize themselves and others enjoy Advising work.

The Team Management Wheel



The integration of the Types of Work Wheel with the work preference concepts led to the development of the Team Management Wheel .




The TMS Team Management Wheel

A person’s work preferences can be mapped onto this Wheel as a major role preference and two related role preferences. Thus someone might show a preference as a Creator-Innovator with related roles of Thruster-Organizer and Concluder-Producer, or as a Controller-Inspector with related roles of Concluder-Producer and Upholder-Maintainer.

Here are some general characteristics of each sector:


Prefers gathering information and likes to fully understand situations before acting


Enjoys thinking up new ideas and new ways of doing things rather than focusing on delivering outputs on a regular basis.


Like to take ideas and promote them to others, not worrying too much about any details involved.


Enjoy analyzing and developing different possibilities before decisions are made


Like to make things happen and get results rather than ‘waste’ too much time debating issues


Practical people who like to carry through things to the end by working to a plan


Quieter, reflective people who enjoy the detailed side of work and like dealing with facts and figures.


Enjoy working in support of others ensuring that tasks are delivered to high standards

Using the Team Management Wheel to Improve Teamwork

There are many ways to use the Team Management Wheel to improve Agile Team performance. Some of these are highlighted below.



Receiving detailed feedback on which team roles a person is likely to prefer helps them realize why they emphasize some team activities but ignore others.

Team balance


If all members of a team map unevenly around the Wheel it helps explain why some team activities are ignored. After all, we tend to give priority to those tasks we like doing. If there is a team imbalance then everyone knows that an extra effort needs to be made to make sure that less-liked team activities are done well.


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