The forming, storming, norming and performing of agile teams

I am with the team for their sprint3 planning meeting. Sprint2 was a successful sprint, after the Sprint1’s failure. During sprint1, the team was more of a dysfunctional unit. After Sprint2’s success, the team has transformed itself into a cohesive and confident unit.

Like every other teams, the agile teams also undergoes the stages of forming, storming, norming and performing stages. During sprint one, the team is just a collection of people with different backgrounds, coming together for the purpose of the project. By the time the team reaches sprint2, they get into the storming mode. They sometimes resist and even question about the usefulness of the burndown charts and velocity calculations. Even if we call them as a single development team, there are still mindset differences between the coders, testers, architects, scrum master and the product owner. If it is a good scrum implementation, they would have failed in a sprint as well. This failure acts as a challenge to the team, leading to the quick norming of the team as a cohesive unit. By this time, the architectural clarity on the new product is very high, and the teams bonding is at it’s best. With the right rewarding systems, it is very easy to take this team into a performing unit.

On the one side we say that we need a committed and competent team to implement scrum. The corollary to this is, a team which have some successful sprints behind them, will automatically become a committed and performing unit. The non performers, or the people with the wrong mindsets will either get transformed or ignored. Now I started respecting this team under consideration. I started liking the way they work as a single unit. Great job team. Wish you the very best for your future sprints. I am delighted as your agile coach.


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