How to make an agile team works?

Are your teams keeping up in a fast-paced, globalized and virtual world?

Fast eats slow

No longer ¨big eats small¨ but ¨fast eats slow. And stability rather than change can be dangerous. Definition of team and pre-requisite of high performing teams have also evolved.

What has changed about teams? Have a look at 5 top trends with teams:

  1. Teams are more often temporary
  2. People are members more teams at the same time
  3. Teams are dynamically structured
  4. Diversity in the teams has risen
  5. Teams operate more virtual

What has stayed the same

  • Trust remains a critical factor of a successful team
  • Team performance is still defined by effective communication, psychological safety, and shared leadership

At the same time, implementing an agile approach in already existing corporate is usually a painful and long-lasting project with an uncertain result. But what to make when you need your agile teams to come true and effectively working?

If you have a look at what is common about high performing agile teams, you will very probably end up with one key-word:

Swift – Trust

Not surprisingly, mutual trust and reliability is a key attribute also of a performing agile tribe. But how to build trust quickly? It sounds like a direct contradiction, right?

Luckily, there is quite an extensive evidence on how to build trust in temporary and new teams. We have been working with the military teams since the early 90s and found out one thing. Professional reliance, Ability to predict others behaviors, Roles clarity and Collective responsibility are the main areas to focus when working around trust in the team.

How Sociomapping helps

In general, sociomapping enables the agility to happen. It speeds up the process of building the trust and professional reliance with simple and straightforward questions on mutual knowledge, expectations, dependency or quality so that the team can instantly reflect what works well and adjust their modus operandi before the next stand-up.

Agile coaches and their squads use sociomapping in particular during the following situations:

  1. Ceremonies: facilitating the agile ceremonies effectively – Retrospective, Reviews or Back-log prioritization
  2. Capacity: Managing interdependencies and capacity and distributing the back-log more equally
  3. New team: Setting up a new agile team with clear responsibilities, roles
  4. Regular team health checks
  5. Trust: Developing trust and reliability among team members faster
  6. CX (Customer experience): Increasing the involvement of the business and enhancing the customer experience

Case study: Comparison of agile vs. waterfall project team (Banking)

The visualization through sociomaps shows how big a difference there is between an agile and regular project team. Typically agile teams are much more connected with the business – the product owner is much closer to the team and communicates more in general (see picture on the right).

Communication, interdependencies, and importance are more evenly distributed in the whole team and within all team members. Such a picture is very common across the industries and supports the team to reflect the need to get the business closer to their solutions.

Sociomapping helps not only to see and reflect the status and health of the agile teams but it also helps bring together and align business and IT.


The height represents how much each person interact with the team on average. The relative positions reflect people’s communication: the closer they are, the more often they communicate with each other.

Do you want to develop your team effectiveness?

Get in touch with us and find out more details about sociomapping programs for your company.

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