AoAD2 Practice: Alignment

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.


Coaches, Whole Team

We agree on how we work together.

What is a “team?” It’s not just a bunch of people who sit in the same room. It’s not even a group that’s been assigned to work on the same thing.

Interdependency is the hallmark of a team.

A team is a group of people who depend on one another to accomplish a shared goal. That interdependency is the hallmark of a team. It’s what makes teams so successful...and also what makes them so difficult.

You probably remember working on group assignments in school. They tend to be tolerated at best. We’ve all heard the horror stories about one person who ended up doing all the work while the others mooched off their grade.

But we’ve also heard stories of amazing teams. Maybe you’ve had that experience, too: being part of a great sports team, a band, or a volunteer group. When teams work, they’re electrifying.

What’s the difference between bad teams and good teams? Alignment. Team members in an aligned team not only depend on one another to accomplish a shared goal, they’re in agreement about how they’re going to work together. continue reading, buy the book!

In this Section

  1. Alignment
    1. Chartering Alignment
      1. Get to know one another
      2. Create working agreements
      3. Define standards
        1. Sidebar: Beyond Formatting
    2. Iterating Alignment
    3. Adhering to Agreements
      1. Sidebar: Working Agreements and Coaching
    4. Questions
    5. Prerequisites
    6. Indicators
    7. Alternatives and Experiments

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