AoAD2 Chapter: Teamwork (Introduction)

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.


The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Cross-functional, self-organizing teams are the fundamental “resource” of any Agile organization. But who should be part of an Agile team? How do they know what to work on? What makes it possible for them to work well together?

This chapter has the practices you need to create a great Agile team.

  • The “Whole Team” practice creates a cross-functional team with all the skills it needs.

  • The “Team Room” practice builds a space, either physical or virtual, where the team can collaborate effectively.

  • The “Safety” practice creates an environment where team members are able to share their experience and insights.

  • The “Purpose” practice helps team members understand how their work supports the company’s big-picture plans.

  • The “Context” practice clarifies your team’s stakeholders and committed resources.

  • The “Alignment” practice establishes norms that allow team members to work together effectively.

  • The “Energized Work” practice encourages working in a way your team can sustain indefinitely.

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