- Maximize the Daily Stand-Up: The short daily meeting should be held early enough that it serves to focus the team for the day. The Daily Stand-Up or DSU answers the questions what did you accomplish yesterday? what are you focusing on today? and what are your impediments to success? Each of these questions should be answered by each team member and cross talk should be minimal. During the next day’s DSU team members who did not accomplish what they set out to the prior day should provide an impediment or as for assistance to complete their task. If this does not occur other team members are empowered to inquire about progress.
- Celebrate Individual Wins: The team is made stronger when its members succeed and even personal wins should be praised and applauded by the team as a whole. The cellular nature of small teams especially benefits from such interactions creating a tight-knit unit whose members are always willing to assist one another. Individual achievements often motivate other team members toward self-improvement.
- Rally Around Shared Passions and Excentricities: If your team enjoys watching soccer or reading science fiction you should build experiences and team events around those shared interests. In fact the more obscure and unique the better as it will provide another dimension to the core team dynamic. Start by taking some fun general knowledge polls or special interest surveys together to discover the connections that already exist among team members.
- Build Communication Channels: The DSU should not be the only time team members talk each day. They should constantly collaborate and share ideas. To foster this you need to provide lightweight communications options like Microsoft Teams or Slack. these persistent communications channels can be customized to accommodate file sharing, group meetings, and much more. Your team will take advantage of these tools even if they sit next to each other every day. The ability to “ping” someone with a silent question without leaving your current work is a modern miracle that we should take full advantage of.
- Inspiration is Job One: More than anything else your team should be seeking and rewarding inspiration. Those innovative ideas and new ways of thinking are far more valuable than the willingness to endlessly complete mundane tasks. Inspiration trumps perspiration in the modern workplace and your team needs to unite behind this concept so that it can lead the way toward new applications, discoveries, and ways of solving the problems no one else has been able to solve.