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4 Ways to Create Self Sufficient Teams

Updated: 3 days ago

“Depend on yourselves before depending on others, because others can let you down, but you can pick yourselves up.”

As a scrum master or product owner, you must have adapted to the above statement knowing its importance, and try to be self-organized and self-sufficient as much as possible. But what about your team?

Are your team and team members also self-sufficient and are not dependent on you for most of the things?

Being self-sufficient is one of the important skills in an agile organization for project management. This skill is not only required in scrum masters or product owners but also expected in team members. Agile is about delivering quality solutions to customers with agility. Having dependency in most cases is a bad sign for agility.

Being a leader and mentor of the team members the scrum master must create a self-sufficient team who can work smoothly in his absence. In many previous articles, we have seen how a scrum master can lead a team to work in his absence during any events. In this article, we will know how to make team members fully self-sufficient in their responsibility using the below 4 methods.

Before moving directly to the methods to make a team self-sufficient, at first we will learn what does self-sufficient and self-organizing team means in brief.

Self Sufficient team knows what their responsibilities are and what their target is to achieve. They don’t need any concern from their scrum masters or product owners for trivial matters as they are capable to make their own decisions for the betterment of projects and organizations. They seek help only in larger decision-making and strategic planning for the project from their seniors. Along with this they mostly solve a conflict between themselves and team members, communicate well, and help each other without any interference from their leaders.

Methods to make Team Self-Sufficient

1. Make a Cross-Functional Team

It's always better to have a team that consists of all the required skills which function from start to delivering the product to the customer within. By just adding some programmers, testers, and DBA as team members many things have created a fully skilled team. But is this team able to provide the required solutions to the customer? No, they are just the component team that delivers to other teams.

Cross-functional teams are the foundation of the self-organization team as team members together carry all requirements needed to work as self-sufficient teams. In any case, where a team is not able to fulfill the requirement within themselves they are bound to seek help from others outside the team. So the very basic of creating a self-sufficient team is to make a cross-function team that can work by themselves on regular things required in a project. If as a scrum master or product owner you feel that some skills are not there in your team then it is always better to provide them with the training to achieve those skills.

2. Make Sure of having Every Interaction Leading to Self Sufficiency

During an event where you have succeeded in maintaining the team members taking control of the event but still feel the need to correct them where ever they are wrong, is a bad idea. When a team is on the wrong way or solution scrum master’s immediate response will be to correct them and avoid them to take any wrong turn. But by doing so whether in an event or day-to-day work you are creating your dependency. To avoid such dependency along with ringing them to the right solution, scrum masters must ask them a certain question, that they could themselves derive the right solution and know what they were doing wrong. The scrum master’s task is to make team members lead to the solution to make them self-sufficient, not spoon-feed them with the solution. So they must be alert in every interaction to how it will affect the team.

3. Be Influencer

To be a good scrum master it is required to work as an influencer instead of authority. Scrum masters must know when to guide and build confidence for the new team and where to increase responsibilities for the experienced ones. Scrum masters must be comfortable in giving their authority to the team and learn to trust team members' decisions. Because it is necessary to fall sometimes and get scratched to learn.

4. Show by Actions

“Action speaks louder than words.”

It is necessary to make yourselves self-sufficient first than teaching or guiding it to others. When your team will see how organized and self-sufficient you are as their agile coach and leader they will respect you. When they have respect for you they will try to be like you which will make it easy for you to guide them on the path of self-sufficiency.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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