Maria Matarelli Blogs

Friday, July 27, 2012

Collaboration – Go on now, collaborate

When we move toward a more agile environment rather than a traditional approach, we want to encourage a more cross functional, collaborative team environment. However, just changing our approach in methodologies doesn’t mean that our teams will just begin collaborating more. It may require a greater shift in the culture or people’s habits. We may encourage teams to work together and may even put them in the same room to collaborate more but how can we tell if its happening?

Finding a way to make patterns visible can help a team to see how they are working together. These approaches are intended for the team members to determine what area they want to focus on how they work together and reflect upon how that is working after an iteration. Its important to note that this approach is intended for use within the team and for the team, not for evaluation by someone outside of the team.

Fellow coach, Dan Neumann and I prepared a presentation for Agile 2012, Break down silos: Collaboration techniques for teams. We have facilitated this collaborative development workshop with several teams to share techniques that can be used on project teams to encourage more collaboration and cross team communication. Some of the techniques include ways for teams to make things visible regarding limiting work in progress, collaborative design, pairing and expanding T-shaped skills.

See the presentation live at the Agile 2012 Conference, August 13-17 in Dallas, TX. Enclosed is a link to the full slide deck.