Three highly-effective tips for better teamwork and collaboration

Three highly-effective tips for better teamwork and collaboration

By Georg Fasching | Team Coaching

Mar 16
Team Collaboration - Power of Three

How to make small changes that bring about a big difference in your team’s teamwork and collaboration.

“Create a rich conversation that ensures all the passive presumptions are transformed into active agreements.” Click To Tweet

Tip 1: There is no silver bullet to ease teamwork and collaboration

A lot of people search for that secret formula for perfect teamwork and  collaboration within the agile framework. This is especially true with multidisciplinary team members who come together with different ideas, roles and expectations of one other.

The truth is, there is no silver bullet to kill the friction entirely but you can reduce it significantly by creating awareness of the workflow. When you first physically map it out as a whole team, not everyone will agree. This will only serve to enhance the discussion. Just be sure to revisit it regularly to satisfy the best improvement potential of the team.

Tip 2: Too many cooks spoil the scrum

It may come as a revelation to some, but you don’t always need to include everyone in collaborative efforts. Agile scrum masters or team coaches might insist on involving everyone in order to cover all bases, but in reality there are only a few events that need everyone’s involvement, like the backlog refinement session.

As long as you set up effective feedback loops where the information is passed along to the rest of the team, you needn’t waste time and company investment pulling everyone into every meeting.

Tip 3: Don’t just think, know

Perhaps the most important thing for teamwork and collaboration is for everyone to know the roles, responsibilities and expectations of everyone else. If you search online you’ll find a Role Expectations Matrix with a useful exercise to help you do this. You will find this is especially useful when a new team is formed or an existing team has membership changes.

You simply map out all the roles required to meet the user’s needs. Then cross-map it with what you have. This way you replace people’s passive assumptions with active understandings and agreements of each individual role. The exercise itself can open some very rich conversations and I highly recommend it for all team types; from development to creative and leadership teams.

I hope the video and tips above help you to identify and adopt the best techniques for multidisciplinary teamwork and collaboration within your team. Be sure to carry them through so that you can gain the most value from the diverse skill set you have at your disposal. If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, leave a comment below or send me a message through my website. Thanks for reading. See you next time!


Here’s the full transcript:

– Hi, Georg here helping you unlock your team’s genius.

Welcome back to another episode in The Power of Three series where I’m spending just three minutes sharing my top three encouragements or tips on a particular subject.

In this video, I am sharing my view on multidisciplinary collaboration and there is, of course, a lot that can be said about that, but I’m just gonna tease out three top tips and encouragements.

Let’s put three minutes on the clock, there we go.

So, firstly it is all down to the workflow.

People sometimes are hoping for a silver bullet or the one thing that makes
their entire collaboration across multiple disciplines in their team completely smooth and the one thing that comes close to it, although there is no actual silver bullet, of course, is to create awareness and consciousness about a workflow.

Make it explicit, have a conversation with a team. Map it out and review it together.

The first time you do it, I can pretty much promise you that no two people will have
the same view of the workflow and that will really propel everything forward that you have in your team and improve your team collaboration massively.

Come back to there once in a while and review together as well to make sure
that it always satisfies the best improvement potential that you can probably and possible muster.

Then the second encouragement I would like to share with you is that when it comes to collaboration, you don’t need to involve everyone in the team all the time.

It’s kind of obvious, but I have seen it in some organisations where the scrum master, delivery manager, team coach, whatever it might be called in the organisation, kind of insists that everyone is involved in every single activity.

There are only a few activities that really require everyone.

Product backlog refinement or refinement sessions being one of them, but for the
others, as long as you have feedback loops, where the learning can be shared from any particular task, you don’t need to involve everyone all the time and use up valuable time of everybody in the team, right?

Just ensure that you have those feedback loops in place so that the learning from those smaller groups can be shared back with the team.

And with that, we are moving on to the probably, most important thing, you want to clarify and have transparency around, and that is roles and expectations across everyone in the team.

And there is a wonderful exercise around that. If you just Google roles
and expectations matrix, you can find that, great exercise.

I suggest everyone does that one when they start and reviews that when the new
team members come on board or when team membership changes.

It is one where you go around and you map out what are all the roles that
are required across the team in order to deliver
the product and satisfy the customer’s, the user’s needs.

Once you have that in place, you cross map it and then go through expectations of every role, excuse me, expectations by every role of every other role and so on and so forth,
makes for a wonderfully rich conversation and ensures that all those passive presumptions that we take into the workplace are transformed into active agreement.

There is a lot of friction that comes from not doing that, so I really recommend you
do this particular exercise and do it whether you are a product development or service development team or a leadership team.

It is incredibly powerful also for leadership teams.

So, and with that, our time is up.

These were my three encouragements on multidisciplinary collaboration.

Thank you very much for the time.

If you found any of this useful, please like, share and subscribe.

If you have any thoughts on this video or any ideas for future videos, please leave a comment down below and I’ll have the next video ready very soon.

Until next time, thank you very much, bye-bye.

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About the Author

An agilist since 2010 and in product management since the 90s, Georg Fasching helps digital creative agencies delight their clients, fulfil their people, and improve their prosperity.

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