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Agile by example 2015: lightning talk - exploring team dynamics

Topic of this short talk: team / group dynamics. The point is that you need to be aware of any dynamics happening in your team / group.

Contents of the presentation:
Slide 1: Intro video (ants)

Slide 2: Teamwork
Teamwork is the corner stone of any successful undertaking.
Teamwork is an individual skill.
The purpose of this talk is to make you aware of the importance of team dynamics.
We will look at some examples, and how we can explore team dynamics.

Slide 3: How does a high-performing team look like?
Diverse members
Diversity of viewpoints, opinions
Open and clear communication
Managing conflict
Clear objectives
Participative leadership
Positive atmosphere

Slide 4: Putting a group of people together does not make a team.

Slide 5: Model of group/team development: Tuckman (1965)
Note: the different phases of growing as a team are necessary to become “performing”

Slide 6: Belbin team roles (1981)
9 team roles: an effective team has members that cover the 9 key roles in managing the team

Slide 7: Communication inside the team is a key indicator of whether they are performing or not. The quality of communication in the team will also directly affect the communication with the stakeholders.

Slide 8: One bad apple can cause rot in the entire cart by altering the behaviour of everyone.
examples: the passive-aggressive group eroder, the blunt/rude dominant, the controller, the slacker, the anti-establishment guy, the divide-and-conquer schemer, the arrogant fat head

Slide 9: Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”.

Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanise other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.


Slide 10: How to explore team dynamics?
Listen to the way team members are communicating
Observe behaviours: can you recognise certain team roles? Who has an introvert personality, who’s extrovert?
Observe how conflict is managed

Slide 11: Don't be a Scrum Zombie (Thanks to Henrik Kniberg)

Slide 12: How to explore team dynamics? Team building, a classic scrum.

Slide 13, 14, 15: How to explore team dynamics? Team drawer
A team building exercise.

Cf. (team drawing exercise)

Slide 16: Improv theatre exercises

Slide 17: Quote by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

Slide 18: Be aware of the dynamics in your team!

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Agile by example 2015: lightning talk - exploring team dynamics

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  11. 11. Agile Belgium: Agile games night III Source:
  12. 12. Agile Belgium: Agile games night III Source:
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  14. 14. –Henry Ford “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
  15. 15. Source: Exploring team dynamics @vfrederik