How to Build Agile Teams in The Workplace

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At a time where organizations are looking to optimize employee performance and output, the question of how to build agile teams is one that pops up frequently. These teams are those comprising cross-functional team members who have all the resources and knowledge needed to produce a working and tested product of your company.

Given the benefits that come with these tiger teams – including fewer bottlenecks in service delivery, greater innovation, and a greater focus on the customer experience – many organizations are now keen on testing out this model.

Yet, you may struggle with finding the right place to start. Fortunately, our post ‘How to Build Agile Teams in the Workplace’ takes you through everything you need to know. You’re welcome.

Start with a plan and plan intelligently

Given the restructuring that’s required to roll out this kind of team, planning ahead and across all departments is crucial to the success of your efforts.

You will also have to dig deep for patience to see this process through because there’s bound to be obstacles along the way. From colleagues who don’t understand your vision to the logistics of creating new teams – those whose members traditionally belong to different departments – you will probably reach your wit’s end more times than you count before this working structure is implemented.

In the planning process, it’s also important that you identify what problems you want to solve by building agile teams. Don’t go into this process with blind expectations or simply because it’s an exciting trend.

With a clear vision and a clearly thought out plan, you will find that while the team-building process is a little messy, you will achieve your objectives with fewer hiccoughs.

Bring the right people together – and we’re not just talking about skill

The success of any team comes down to a few intangible factors. One of them is based on how well each personality interacts with the other and how they put their differences aside to get the job done.

When asking yourself how to build agile teams, another question you need to ponder on is how to pick the right set of individuals. While bringing those with different skills together is the very premise of agile teams, it’s also important that you look beyond skills when building each unit.

With the use of the right workplace psychometric/personality tests, you access the “hidden” personality traits, attitudes, and mannerisms that often make or break a team. These include communication styles, workplace attitudes, interpersonal skills, and so much more.

So, while you must certainly pick those with the right mix of skills, make sure each team also has personalities that don’t clash.

Trust your team to organize themselves efficiently

Micromanaging is as stressful as it is unpleasant to those on the receiving end of the stick. When you (finally!) form your teams, assign them specific tasks but give them the freedom to allocate specific action items among themselves.

Give them the autonomy to decide their own processes, where possible, and entrust them with a sense of responsibility. Trust is a very important element of a well-functioning agile team.

Encourage open communication and feedback

One of the primary aims of building agile teams is to prevent your teams from working in silo. Yet, even within these units, working in perfect synchronization is impossible if open communication is missing.

It’s hard to roll out products (especially software) faster, more efficiently, and with fewer errors, if team members aren’t engaging with each other properly and aren’t offering (constructive) feedback at all times.

While this may take some training, make sure your teams are communicating openly, honestly, and kindly.

Master how to build agile teams in the workplace with the right strategies

If you’re a CTO, CIO or simply in charge of tech teams and are looking to improve efficiency, output and the quality of your solutions, agile teams are one of the most effective strategies for growth.

Regardless of whether you’re in the tech industry or not, by discovering how to build agile teams, you can now implement change at one of the smallest levels of your organization.

Author: Raghu Misra