Project Management

Collaborative Team Behaviors Have to Be Nurtured

catsA collaborative team atmosphere does not just happen. You can’t assemble collaboration by hiring the best in the business. The best teams are birthed out of an environment that nurtures free thinking and is constantly pushing the individual past their limits.

“Let’s say we have a team following Scrum principles. They have a well-groomed and prioritized sprint backlog. Well into the sprint, one of the software developers finishes working on a story. There are more stories in the backlog and plenty of time left to work on them. What should the developer do?

He might simply access the sprint backlog and select the story at the top of the priority list. Makes sense, right? There’s nothing wrong with that approach, however, it doesn’t do anything to encourage teamwork and collaboration. It’s simply a lone developer doing his thing.”

This is a great opportunity to foster a greater collaborative atmosphere. Instead of this developer simply “moving down the list” he could have checked to see if anyone was stuck and offered assistance. Having a multitude of tasks in progress is a waste of resources and encourages isolation.

Also, another opportunity would be to have brainstorming times where the entire team can “swarm” problems and find solutions faster.  These exercises will foster a collaborative environment and prepare your team for the times when they need to work together to attack the larger projects.

Ryan Malinoski

Ryan Malinoski was a staff writer and technical assistant for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He joined the team in 2013.

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