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    Characteristics of Successful SCRUM Teams

    by Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    What makes SCRUM so effective as a project methodology is its team aspect. Projects fail, not for lack of process. Rather failure occurs in projects because of a disconnect in the social environment.There are specific characteristics that high performing SCRUM teams have in common.

    1. The team is cross-functional. Cross-functional teams are multi-disciplined. They can bring a holistic context to their effort. Sometimes this diversity creates slightly longer delivery times than the functional teams. But this loss of efficiency is covered by the significant increase in effectiveness. Cross-functional SCRUM teams deliver a better, higher quality end product.
    2. The team is empowered. The teams that are self-organized, self-managed, and properly directed are more engaged and productive. The good news is that team members are motivated and productive. The bad news [for some managers] is that these team members, because of their empowerment, feel a sense of ownership and motivation to contribute their ideas to other areas, too. Managers should welcome this involvement from their team members and focus their team’s motivation on areas that would benefit from their insight.
    3. This leads to the next characteristic, the team has a sense of purpose. Because of their autonomy and their diversity of membership these SCRUM teams feel a stronger sense of purpose. This purpose ignites their motivation. The properly structured and led SCRUM team perform and exceedingly high levels. They can initiate and implement changes that would be difficult for many organizations to acquire.

    The smart organizational leader will take the time to structure their SCRUM teams correctly, and provide the required support to nurture and sustain the team’s efforts. This investment in the team will deliver greater ROI results that will exceed the expectations of customers.

    Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

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    As a leadership and team advisor, I have helped numerous organizations, through speaker presentations, group training, and individual coaching, to meet the challenge of creating engaging and purposeful work environments. 

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