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Teamwork or team work?

Reading agile blogs and books, there seems to be a migration of the meaning of team work (the activities) to teamwork as a goal.

Teamwork should never be the goal, it is however a stage on the way to achieving team synergy. When individuals start to work together, they are not doing so initially as a team, but as a group. See the Synergy page for more on the difference. Groups can share goals, work areas, activities and events, without ever becoming a team. This is a difference I see working with groups using Scrum, and teams using Scrum. Some never make it!

Scrum is a great way to have people work together and hopefully start to achieve team work. The aim should be to become more productive in terms of producing greater and greater value, but most measures of hyper-productivity (including how Jeff Sutherland describes it) are measured in terms of velocity: the number of story points completed per sprint. Scrum does not ensure that the people will become teams that achieve team synergy and hyper-productivity, but it does give a good framework within which other factors will help this occur. This requires aspects like individual agile leadership, ways of thinking and behaving, shared values and norms, and organizational collaboration that are not specifically addressed in Scrum.Note the latest Scrum guide picks up on some values like trust and respect that have been included in STARS for decades.

One way to start the focus of individuals on becoming teams is early in their work to set goals oriented towards teams, AND also individuals, management, enterprise and the work itself. I invented the TIMEWhirlpool to achieve this. For more on teamwork, team synergy and associated topics, I recommend buying and reading Reading for the STARS: Agile Leadership and Beyond. On Amazon.



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