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How to Be a Better Team Player using Scrum


Failing to work as a team is the biggest reason behind the failure of many projects. Over 86% of business leaders have agreed to this according to a study conducted by Salesforce. The truth is teamwork is an essential element if you want to succeed because businesses that fail to work together as a unified team always fall behind.

There are many ways you can work as a team. Scrum is one such team-based approach that can deliver immense value to your business by promoting collaboration between team members so that you and your team can together accomplish your business goals.

Here are 5 ways to improve teamwork using scrum:

1. Teach your team to manage things on their own

Self-management is what will help you go a long way in the scrum approach. You can save a lot of time and effort when your team is self-reliant and doesn’t need much supervision or direction from leadership. To achieve this level of self-sufficiency, your team must be familiar with the principles of self-management.

So, encourage your teams to take responsibility and handle challenges on their own. They should be able to handle most of the problems on their own rather than taking them to their supervisor all the time. This will save your managers a lot of time which they can devote to developing better strategies. Also, this can encourage your employees to develop stronger problem-solving skills and teamwork capabilities.

But this doesn’t mean the management does not have any role in the scrum. They are still responsible for guiding teams and helping them remain organized. Managers must ensure that their team is on track to hit their sprint goals and take necessary action if anyone is slacking.

The self-management approach may sound reasonable, but many businesses have found it effective. Even GE noticed a tremendous boost in both employee productivity and satisfaction after following the self-management approach. So, it’s both your consideration.

2. Ensure open communication between your team members

Internal communication is an important part of scrum without which your teams cannot function. A team will be able to perform well only when there are trust and collaboration, and team members don’t fear from openly sharing their thoughts.

So, make sure there is open communication within your team. All the team members should be able to communicate their ideas clearly and talk about their wins, losses, or internal issues holding back the team without fear. This level of inter-communication will also ensure that every team member knows exactly what their duties are so that no tasks can slip between the crack and slow down the progress.

To develop this level of communication, some employees will have to re-learn and change the processes they are familiar with. This may call for the need of group exercises that may improve teamwork and develop soft skills. Seems like a lot of work. But this can help teams learn how to work together which is worth it.

3. Make the best use of retrospective

If you are familiar with the daily practices of the scrum, you might have heard the term retrospective for sure. In case you haven’t, the retrospective is the time team members spend together after every sprint session to discuss everything that happened during the sprint. This is when they talk about the challenges they faced and suggest ideas on how they can make things better in the next sessions.

This is the typically how retrospective typically looks like:

Although, you need to know that retrospective is not meant for complaining or listing off excuses for poor output. Instead, teams should use it for coming up with ideas that can improve future outcomes.

So, inspire your team to make the best of your time by hosting meetings in which all team members can share the struggles they are having in their tasks and offer alternatives that can help the team succeed. This can help you a lot.

4. Individually focus on each team member

While this may go against the concept of teamwork and unity that we talk about a lot in the scrum, individuality plays an equally crucial role in team-based success. One of the core practices of scrum is to place individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Every team following the scrum approach understands that every individual matters in a team and if one person struggles, the entire team will be affected.

So, managers and team leaders must understand that every member of the team works differently. While some prefer doing things on their own, others constantly look for interaction with their leaders and co-workers. To operate efficiently as a team, every member has to be on the same page.

The idea here is to play each member’s strengths and hold them responsible for their actions. Productivity increases when leadership recognizes the efforts of their employees and praises them for their actions. So, as a leader or manager, make sure you recognize the efforts of every individual, celebrate their efforts, and encourage them to keep up the good work.

5. Make decisions as a team, not on your own

Group decisions play a crucial role when it comes to following the scrum approach. All the members of the team have to collaboratively decide on all the tasks they are going to work on, challenges that may occur while working on these tasks, and the approaches they will follow to resolve those problems. So, your team members must be willing to negotiate and keep the team above themselves.

This approach will make your employees feel more empowered and boost both their productivity and morale.

Team Softobiz and Scrum

There is a quote from famous American business magnate and the founder of Apple Steve Jobs:

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.”

At Softobiz, we understand what crucial role teamwork and approaches like scrum can play in business success. This is the reason why we have built a culture that thrives on teamwork and collaboration. We believe in keeping team members from different backgrounds and cultures on the same page so that they work as a single unit towards a common goal.

As a result of this approach, our business has grown and our team has become more productive. By applying these values to your organization, you can also achieve the same results.


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