Agile Book Club: Team Dynamics

Team dynamics form the bedrock of Agile teams’ ability to develop and deliver software. They’re the invisible undercurrents that determine your team’s culture. In this session, Diana Larsen and Linda Rising help us explore the dynamics that make and break Agile teams.

Diana Larsen is a team dynamics expert and change guru who’s been part of the Agile community since the beginning. She’s best known for coauthoring Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great with Esther Derby. She authored the section on team dynamics in The Art of Agile Development.

Linda Rising describes herself as “incredibly old but still agile and interested in almost anything—including bonobos and trees!” She's been working on teams her entire life, starting with pick-up softball games where she pitched and hit fungos to her two younger brothers.

📖 Team Dynamics

🎙 Discussion prompts:

  • The Tuckman Model (“Forming,” “Storming,” “Norming,” and “Performing”) is a classic lens into team dynamics. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of that model?

  • Let’s talk about trust. What role does trust play in a healthy team, and how can it be created?

  • Agile teams self-organize and share leadership. What does that look like in practice? How can people develop their shared leadership skills?

  • What role do managers play in creating healthy team dynamics?

About the Book Club

From October 2021 to August 2022, I hosted a call-in talk show based on the second edition of The Art of Agile Development. The series used the book as a jumping-off point for wide-ranging discussions about Agile ideas and practices, and had a star-studded guest list.

For an archive of past sessions, visit the book club index. For more about the book, visit the Art of Agile Development home page.

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