Gaining space for a team: a progressive process

Gaining space for a team: a progressive process
Photo by Domenico Loia / Unsplash

Conquering space, respect and independency for a Scrum team inside de organization is a progressive process. It must always happen step by step and in the right moments.

It can not be imposed neither to the inside not to the outside. We must never force those situations.

If you try to impose more space for the team inside the company during an agile transformation, it is possible that you have not been able yet to earn credit enough in front of managers or stakeholders. If this is the case, you can generate fear or even too close observation of the team, based on the observers insecurity. Of course we should always have trust by default attitude, but this is not usually the situation from where we start the transformation.

On the other side, if you try to force the team to gain more space, it is possible that some integrants might not be ready yet to develop with different dynamics in an environment that previously did not give them that confidence. They would be, in that case, lacking the necessary confidence to react if something goes wrong and you can finish in an scenery that is exactly the opposite of what you were trying to achieve.

What I suggest is a work based on multiple ways.

Work on having a good and strong team with self-confidence. If they really feel confident about what they do and how they do it, that inner confidence that comes from the confirmation of their results will make them be more in the desire of more space to grow and improve and demand that autonomy.

Have also a lot of implication and conversation with managers and stakeholders so they don´t feel excluded or that they don´t really what is happening. That will make them feel more comfortable and establish a better relationship with the team by understanding their reasons and ideas coming directly from them.

For the Scrum Master, reel the path around the team so they can move on their own. Do not gain ground by pushing, but facilitate and favor that climate that allows the above, both inside and outside the team.

On the one hand protect the team so that they can develop without external intervention and at the same time have many conversations with the whole external environment so they understand the steps, the advances and they are able to take the first steps to give voice and respect to the Scrum team .

The job of the Scrum Master is not to gain the team’s space, but to provide the company and the team with an environment in which they can advance only when the pieces fit together and the time is right. Autonomy is gained, it is not imposed.