Being on an Agile team can be a fascinating and exciting yet daunting experience. Working in a highly social and fast-paced inspect and adapt Agile environment will require a team that is nimble, productive, and “in the zone.” The people comprising this team must operate within their role at a high level and focus on functioning as collaboratively as possible.
Having participated and observed many Agile teams over the years, I have captured a few characteristics of an amazing Agile teammate on a high-performing Agile team. You should:
Work your ass off. More than anything else, work hard. Really hard. This does not mean you are working long hours but for 6 to 8 hours you are producing a crazy amount of work product. And you are doing this every working day. No excuses.
Hone your craft. Be continually improving in the core competencies of your role. Strive to be the best developer, tester, product owner, architect, analyst, Scrum Master, or designer you can possibly be. Pair up with those who are at the top of their game and learn from them. Study the masters and bring a fresh approach to what you create everyday.
Be fully engaged. Be present during every interaction with your teammates. Shut down your laptop. Put away your mobile. Actively participate in the discussion and bring energy to planning and problem-solving sessions. If you are not providing value or receiving value from any meeting, use the “Law of Two Feet” and respectfully excuse yourself.
Appreciate your teammates. Each teammate will have their own set of eccentricities and unique features. Find a way to appreciate them all. There is something brilliant and special inside each of them – find it. Be inspired by them. Also, your teammates will make mistakes but assume everyone has the best of intentions until proven otherwise.
Take time with new team members. While it may not feel like this would be the best use of your time, embracing new team members will enable them to be a productive contributor from the start. Making new teammates feel embraced sets the stage for them to be amazing Agile teammates in the future.
Laugh and have fun. You will be spending plenty of time together so make sure you are having a good time as well. Be likable and don’t take everything too seriously.