High Performance Agile Teams: An Overview of Collaboration


if you plan to remain at that type of organization.

Teams with many inexperienced members will need direction before they can lead themselves. Inexperienced team members are likely to make errors in decision making due to insufficient perspectives. It would be wise to lead these teams with a strong hand and turn leadership over to the team incrementally as they gain experience.

Collaboration is often seen as a nice thing to do, a soft buzzword for “working together.” In fact, it's a set of rigorous practices that individuals, managers, and the team as a whole must engage in to become a high performing team. Every team needs to go through the hard work of establishing trust and rigor to increase their collaborative capabilities.

But the effort is worth it since a team has a resource - the relationships and perspectives that can be leveraged - that a group of individuals don't have. Finally, an organization must support a team by providing a high trust environment where a team can be self organizing and responsible for solving business problems. An organization that can support high-performance teams has an additional resource that's not available to other organizations, giving them a significant competitive advantage. 

Further Reading  

The Wisdom of Teams , Katzenbach; Smith.

For information on specific collaboration techniques, see books such as Coplien and Harrison's “Organizational Patterns of Agile Development.”

Highlights of Java in the Trenches - Reflections along the Eclipse Way, Erich Gamma and John Weigand.

About the Author
Jim Ruehlin is a process content developer at IBM Rational Software . He is responsible for contributing to open source Agile and Unified processes ( www.eclipse.org/epf).

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