Who here just started a new job? Or maybe you’re about to start a new job? This is the situation I recently faced. It’s stressful, and it was important to me that I make a strong, lasting, and positive first impression. In fact, let’s talk about that today, but before we do, I’d like to give a big shout out to rands. A decade ago, I ran into his blog. It was the first blog I ever followed, and his advice in Ninety Days is something I reread before I start any new job. In it, he suggests that the interview continues through the first ninety days on the job. I agree, and I can relate with his piece of advice here:
- Can data help our teams improve? If so, what kind of data?
- How do we responsibly use this data?
- Can metrics help the teams and the organization embrace a culture of experimentation?
- Data isn’t enough. How can we tie it to the motivations and passions of our team members?
Several weeks ago, I wrote about what to look for in a good Scrum Master, and today, I’d like to have a similar discussion about the team. More specifically, let’s talk about what makes for a high-performing team. It’s a common term, and it conjures up different images for different people. If someone were to join a team meeting, what would he or she see? What behaviors does a high-performing team demonstrate? Here’s how I answer those questions.
- Do we contribute at team meetings equally? Do we have the floor in roughly equal amounts? In other words, in a 60 minute meeting, does the six team member talk about ten minutes each? Try this. At sprint planning or grooming, listen for Product Owner. Is the PO explaining every story? Let’s hope not. Instead, our team members should feel equally invested and able to explain items from the backlog.
- What happens when consensus isn’t reached? Consensus isn’t necessary on a high-performing team. We trust our team members and value their opinions. Even if we decide to go in a different direction, that’s okay. Why?
When a Scrum Master joins a team, there’s so much to do. It’s daunting and sometimes a bit overwhelming. We have so many questions! Where’s the team need our help? Are they entrenched in how they operate or open to change? How do they interact with each other? How receptive are they to me, their new Scrum Master? Today, I’d like to explain one approach that I’ve find successful, and it all begins with a conversation.