Behind every great success is a team that worked day and night to achieve that one specific goal. The team consists of people who are experts in their fields and a leader who motivates them to give their best.
Teams are as great as their leaders. Appointing a mediocre leader for a great team yields mediocre results. However, a great leader can inspire a mediocre team to yield great results. A good leader knows about the versatile talents of their team and how to utilize them for the best possible outcome.
Nowadays, agile teams are more in demand to face the new challenges of the world head-on. Do you wish to lead an elite team for your company? This article will focus on ways to build an agile team for your business.
What is an Agile Team?
An agile team comprises individuals with different talents working to achieve the same goal. It usually consists of a small number of people working together on different parts of the same project.
Originally, agile teams used to work in software development and engineering firms. Now, many companies employ the philosophy behind the formation of teams at all levels.
How Do You Build an Agile Team?
Building an agile team can be tricky. You need to keep in mind that traditional leadership skills don’t apply here. Here are a few pointers that can help you build your dream team for your dream project.
1. Juggle your roles as a manager and a leader
Management and leadership are often confused. Many organizations often merge the roles of a leader and a manager. However, a good leader knows when to manage and when to lead in business.
A leader, in simple words, leads. They inspire their team to work harder and more efficiently. The focus of the team leader is to work towards the big picture.
A manager is responsible for managing the team members. They manage day-to-day operations that lead towards the bigger picture. They set goals for the team to achieve and monitor their performance.
To lead an agile team, you become a manager when the situation demands. During a crisis, a manager is required to deal with sudden changes and manage the workflow. At the same time, a leader boosts the team’s morale and keeps them motivated. The key is to manage both of these responsibilities efficiently.
2. Give time to settle-in
No matter how good a team you put together, they need some time to settle in. Team members need to become well-acquainted with each other. As a leader, you should give them some time and space to get to know each other.
A team with good communication with each other can yield exceptional results. In an agile team, it is even more important. This is because each member has their own area of expertise. They need to collaborate with one another regarding specific tasks. They also need to share ideas without hesitation. This only happens when there is a certain level of trust and respect between the team members.
3. Empower your team
Communication with your team members is the key. You need to build a good rapport with your team members so they know that they can depend on you in times of need.
Members of an agile team should be confident enough to make decisions but should also know when to ask for help. Encourage your team to share ideas and mentor other members whenever they can.
Empowerment also requires that you constantly share the strategies and goals with your team. Every member of your agile team should know the basics of your strategy and how their skills fit into the big picture.
4. Break the dependencies
If one task is dependent on the completion of another task, we say that we have a dependency. For example, we cannot start the project if we don’t get the funding. Such dependencies automatically get developed when you start working on a project.
As an agile team leader, develop a strategy to minimize the dependencies. Dependencies ruin the project and delivery timelines. It entails that the project is set with dominoes. If one falls, the others fall with it.
Since agile team members are mostly independent in their work, dependencies slow them down and affect their progress. Although getting rid of dependencies is not entirely possible, you can certainly work to minimize them.
5. Keep the number of members as low as possible
A big team may seem like a good idea at first. After all, more members mean more productivity, right?
The problem emerges when a crisis erupts. The team members have difficulty communicating with one another. The managers suddenly have to manage a large number of team members. The leaders have to deal with the collectively lowered motivation.
Recent research indicates that a small team can work more efficiently. An agile team consists of 5-11 members, all working in different ways towards the same goal. They can easily communicate and improvise to avert any crisis that comes their way.
6. Move towards organizational stability
An agile team works wonders in a stable organization. If the work environment is not stable, the team members can not function optimally. As a team leader, you should give a stable environment for your team to work in. Here are a few steps you can take to create workplace stability.
- Set priorities! In a stable work environment, leaders set certain priorities and reassess them in times of crisis. This measure helps the team member to remain focused and work toward the set goal.
- Go out of the way to facilitate your team. Provide them adequate resources to work efficiently.
- Avoid the blame game. Understand that the team will make mistakes. Instead of blaming anyone, work on solutions.
- Have backup plans. More than once, you may fail to reach your goals. One of your team members may get sick. Contingency plans always come in handy.
Modern problems require modern solutions and traditional leadership practices are out-of-date, while agile teams are the future. They are dominating over every field and working to yield the best possible results. Every major organization is now working to build agile teams to promote their business. As a leader, working with an agile team can be an education on its own. You realize that you can learn from your team members as much as they can learn from you.