Enthusiasm – A key ingredient in facilitation
I have had the good fortune to work with several Scrum Masters and Agile teams over the course of my last few years of being an Agile coach. It has been a valuable learning and has given me lot of insights into human behaviors, mindset and approaches.
We can implement the Agile process but the approach and attitude with which the adoption is approached is in a way key to creating those high performing teams that we set out to in the first place. In a certain bank where I was coaching agile teams, they had defined an intricate and detailed Agile maturity matrix which ran a few 100 lines on an excel sheet, while on paper one of the teams I worked with was considered as the most mature Agile team, their body language suggested otherwise.
During their standups, they synchronized well with updates to each other but the body language was droopy and lacked energy or enthusiasm. During a retrospective session that I facilitated and later observed, the team again discussed their retrospective items and shortlisted their improvement points but the discussion was dull and did not display the kind of enthusiasm that one associates with a high performing team.
While some slack in the system is good to create predictability, and give room for change, Slack within teams can cause boredom and lower productivity and output. Scrum masters can easily and effectively address this.
It is important therefore for Scrum Masters to keep a look out for the team’s body language, their enthusiasm levels and work on ensuring that Scrum event continue to be fun and energized to enable enthusiastic participation from the team, which is key for long lasting success.