You are about to read my first post about the second workbook of the “Agile Teams from Forming to Perfoming” series titled “Storming Agile Teams“.

How did we get here?

In the Final Thoughts section of my first worbook “Forming Agile Teams“, I have invited the reader to continue iterating through the Forming stage of the team’s development process until some of the following signs arise in the team:

storming_en

Are these enough to say that a team has entered the Storming phase?

Well, it actually requires more than just that. Here is a extended list of the main signs that may help you identify when a team has entered the storming phase of its development journey:

  • Low level of trust.
  • Low level of collaboration between team members.
  • Low level of transparency and visibility about the tasks’ progress.
  • Collaboration agreements are unclear or undefined.
  • Respect between members is doubtful.
  • Undefined goals, or if defined, they are misinterpreted or understood according to each team member’s perspective.
  • Poorly defined tasks.
  • Roles and responsibilities are in the process of being defined/clarified.
  • Results are highly impacted depending on conflict intensity.
  • If defined, the team’s vision is unclear on people’s minds.
  • Tone of voice and communication tend to be violent.
  • The Blaming game seems to be common practice when issues arise.
  • Use of irony and sarcasm is highly present when communicating.
  • Individuals’ interests come before team’s interests.
  • Individual point of view prevails over collective purpose.
  • You can smell fear and people try to avoid fighting it.
  • Personal and task destructive conflicts arise between team members during team ceremonies.
  • Team members are unaware of the team entering/navigating though the conflict zone.

Storming Agile Teams Challenges

As you might have noticed above, there are many subjects that would require your attention if you want to be able to help your teams navigate through the storm. Let’s mention some of them just to give you an idea of how much work we might need to do ourselves to ensure that our teams would get the best out of us:

  • Active listening (Intermediate level)
  • Being able to explore and observe (Intermediate level)
  • Facilitation skills (Intermediate level facilitator based on Ingrid Bens’s book “Advanced Facilitation Strategies: Tools and techniques to master difficult situations” assessment)
  • For Emotional Intelligence I would say, you might need to learn more about:
    • Self-Awareness
      • Emotional awareness
    • Self-Management
      • Emotional balance
      • Positive outlook
      • Adaptability
      • Achievement Orientation
    • Social Awareness
      • Organizational awareness
      • Empathy
    • Relationship Management
      • Influence
      • Conflict Management
      • Coach & Mentor
      • Inspirational leadership
      • Team work
    • And many more but I think that we can stop here for now…

Does that mean I’ll be writting a book about all the subjects that I’ve mentioned above?

Well, not exactly. My intention is to provide you with a workbook that will offer you the techniques that I’ve used with my teams to help them navigate through the Storming phase of their journey, but also I will do my best to point out the areas that you might need to work on to learn to bring your A game when helping your teams to move forward.

Why is it so important to help a team with moving quickly out of this stage ?

In his book “Overcoming The Five DYSFUNCTIONS of a TEAM”, Patrick Lencioni has said this about “Fearing Conflicts”:

“If team members are never pushing one another outside of their emotional comfort zones during discussions, then it is extremely likely that there are not making the best decisions for the organization.”

How could this workbook help you with?

The Storming Agile Teams workbook content will be divided in four main sections:

  1. Identifying ideal organizational conditions to be able to navigate through the Storming phase.
  2. Identifying where your teams are in the Conflict Continuum.
  3. Techniques to help you and your teams navigate through the Storming phase:
    1. I will use the Storming Agile Teams Flow to visually guide us through it.
    2. I will provide you with techniques, tools, tips and tricks to help you help your teams when:
      1. Working together during:
        1. Planning
        2. Doing
        3. Verifying
        4. Controlling team’s work
      2. Creating safe environments to enable constructive conflicts.
    3. Storming Stories
      1. A section dedicated to stories gathered from people like you, who are willing to share their views with me and my readers.
    4. Templates, tools and exercises like retrospectives, to enrich your Agile Practitioner toolbox and help you raise your game.

What I don’t write about in the workbook?

I promise you that I will keep my writting style and do my best to keep the content as practical as possible, which means that I won’t be rewritting what others have done 100 times better than I would have.

This is it?

This is far from being the end of the workbook’s intro. So please don’t stop here and tell me:

  • What else do you think should be added to the workbook to make it a great one?
  • Do you have an experience to share that you want me to mention as part of the “Storming Stories”?
  • If that is the case, please let me know by emailing me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you for being there to encourage me, for supporting me in many ways, and for making me a better human being.

All the best wishes,

Jesus

References

Forming Agile Teams, Jesus Mendez, http://www.jesusmendez.ca/books/forming_agile_teams

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, http://www.danielgoleman.info/ei-assessments/

Overcoming The Five DYSFUNCTIONS of a TEAM, Patrick Lencioni, https://www.amazon.ca/Overcoming-Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Facilitators/dp/0787976377/ref=sr_1_2/134-0932242-2809847?ie=UTF8&qid=1497925051&sr=8-2&keywords=the+5+disfunctions+of+a+team

Advanced Facilitation Strategies, Ingrid Bens, https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Facilitation-Strategies-Techniques-Situations/dp/0787977306

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Jesus Mendez

I am Jesus Mendez and I help people collaborate with heart. I consider myself as an inspiring learner who nurtures from people's interactions and is extremely passionate about helping leaders survive and thrive. I offer you tools and techniques to help you inspire those around you by sharing what I've tried and experienced. I wish we can connect and make a better world, one conversation at a time!

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