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A Smart Formula to Build a High Performing Team in any organization in any function

I was once told that being part of a high performing team is a remarkable experience that you’ll always remember.

It has been more than a decade since I first had this experience myself; I still reminisce and re-live the experience.

If you ask, how did the team end up being successful? It is a tough question to answer.

In short, we gelled extremely well and as a result accomplished incredible results together.

So, how did we gell so well?

Tough to explain as we weren’t similar, we had diverse backgrounds.

Hence, we made some effort to collaborate. We aimed to stick together to achieve a team goal first rather than individual objectives.


Let’s Understand in Detail


A High performing team is the one that attains its goals, reliably and constantly. Bruce Tuckman, a renowned American Psychological Researcher has developed a popular Group development” model which shows the journey becoming for a high performing teams. This model articulates that a team requires a time together to build a successful way of working.


Back to my team experience - I’ve wrestled to reconstruct it with teams I work with.


What I have realized, is that no matter what type of team you belong to or the business type you work in, an agile mindset and way of working is an effective way to get there.


Back to my team experience - I’ve wrestled to reconstruct it with teams I work with.

What I have realized, is that no matter what type of team you belong to or the business type you work in, an agile mindset and way of working is an effective way to get there.


Our “Smart 5” formula to execute Agile practices and build high performing teams in any business.


1. Versatile and Cohesive Unit - Leading Ingredient


There is a strong need to switch from "a bunch of individuals that work together" to establishing “multi-skilled cohesive unit” that delivers beyond the whole sum of its ingredients. It’s clear that a cohesive team will consistently outperform a bunch of high performing individuals who aren’t well aligned.


Patrick Lencioni presents a dysfunctions that are evident in teams that aren’t cohesive in his well renowned book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, showing that there is a requirement for trust, constructive conflict, commitment, accountability and a focus on a common well defined goal.


2. Team Aligned to a Common Vision or Goal


Leading from Lencioni’s work, in our experience, teams that are aligned to a common direction are always far more effective than those that are not.Visions and goals can change over time, but they are always agreed to and bought into by the whole team.


Keep working to form and build a team behind a common vision, after all it’s better to be part of achieving something big, and this is seldom possible on your own. And this leads us to our third ingredient.


3. Small Team - A Significant Ingredient


Why is there so much emphasis on small teams and not on large groups?


An organization can yield excellent results only when you have multiple skill sets working together as a team for a single goal. Two people are better than one, three are better than two, and the saga continues…


However, there’s a challenging issue here-the more you add people, the tougher it is to keep them aligned. The consequence of more people is that communication overhead goes up, and the efficiency goes down.


Agile practices suggest that a team should not include more than 9 to 11 persons, depending on your framework reference. If you want a highly productive team, don’t do the mistake of expanding it beyond these limits. If you need more people working on the same initiatives, create aligned teams of teams.


4. Agile HR Practices - A Proactive and Happy Ingredient


Agile HR practices encourage practices that empower teams over individuals. For example, implementing team incentives over individual incentives, and empowering teams to make their own decisions on team resourcing and upskilling requirements. While we will keep this point brief in this article, a caution that if HR practices don’t change to support a team-oriented culture, this could undermine and derail the focus on teams completely.


5. Agile Coach - The final, but Chief Ingredient of Smart Formula


A small and cohesive team aligned to a common goal is a great start but is not enough! Experience tells us that without a coach, very few teams ever reach high performance.


As an Agile practice, Scrum implants an iterative delivery cycle that promotes continuous improvement. This cycle is organized by the Scrum Master. While the Scrum Master’s role is to assist the team in the adoption of agile practices, the fundamental purpose of this role is to coach the team in their drive to high performance.


Nitty - Gritty


The “High-performing team” -- more than a business slogan. High performing teams are vital to creating high performing organizations.

So what is it then?

High performing team is the one that self manages to solve problems and provide value to the organization.


The truth is that an organization requires more than a smart formula to develop a high performing agile team. That is why Nymble Consulting offers a helping, coaching hand to help businesses build high performing teams.

What does Nymble Consulting exactly do?

Nymble Consulting is an Agile Business Consultancy committed to turning Agile Philosophy into sure shot certainty. Nymble offers outcomes-based training and implementation support to overcome the obstacles that help organizations embrace Agile Business solutions and build high performing teams that deliver results.

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