- Incorporate Self-Improvement into Team Retrospectives: Scrum teams should be self-managing and constantly improving. This should extend to the team members as well. Encourage each team member to share what their single biggest self-improvement was over the course of a given sprint and check in with them on how that is working as the team moves forward. This helps to extend continuous improvement all the way to personal time-management and even technical proficiency.
- Constantly Stress Test Communication Skills: Every time the team encounters new situations and new stakeholders it is an opportunity to review communication techniques, methods, and messaging. All of these areas can be improved and strengthened in-flight. Have quick huddles before meetings with external stakeholders to test and challenge messaging so that the team constantly gets stronger in these areas. Also, set up a pre-demo meeting or dress rehearsal to ensure smooth communication and to reinforce the importance of these events.
- Mandate Retrospective Contributions: Often team members show up to retros with nothing to add. This doesn’t speed anything along except mediocrity. Require each team member to contribute to each section of the retro and add more categories of questions if needed to ensure value is being realized.
- Celebrate Individuals: Yes, this is a team, but it is made stronger by individuality and diversity of perspective, knowledge, opinion, viewpoint, and specialty… so celebrate that by highlighting individual team members in different ways on a set cadence. Have a short cross-training exercise led by a new different team member each week. Try a monthly book club where the book selection rotates among team members. Encourage individuality and watch your team grow stronger!
- Strive for Consensus not Compromise: many people think these are synonyms but they are nearly opposites. Compromise is a lose-lose where each party gives up something of value in order to reach agreement. Consensus is a win-win where each party gets everything they want. Obviously, consensus is rare and often hard-won, but it is well worth exploring if it is even a remote possibility.
These tips will launch your teams to new heights!