The Five Dysfunctions of a Scrum Team

Teamwork is a major part in the success of a scrum team. If you do not have a solid team, it is inevitable that the scrum process will not work as efficiently as it should. There are five dysfunctions that will disrupt any team and should be avoided at all costs.

1. The first dysfunction is absence of trust

Trust is the foundation of teamwork and is critical for any successful team. Everyone must be willing to be vulnerable within the group and open up about their strengths and weaknesses.

2. The second dysfunction is fear of conflict.

Although it may sound strange, conflict is necessary for a healthy team. Conflicts allow team members to express their feelings about a situation while being open minded to the perspectives of their teammates. The fear of conflict will bring the team to seek artificial harmony rather than engage in constructive passionate debates.

3.The third dysfunction is lack of commitment.

Teammates who lack commitment are a threat to the team as they will likely not take ownership of their part of the team. They tend to be passive and pretend buy in during group discussions instead of voicing their opinions to avoid conflicts. Team members are more likely to commit when they feel passionate about and have fought for what they believe in rather than being a yes man.

4. The fourth dysfunction is avoidance of accountability.

Every member of the team needs to be accountable for their own actions and hold the other members accountable for their actions too. The team must have the courage to confront any members who are inhibiting counterproductive behaviors that are damaging to the team’s success. If the team is not comfortable enough doing so, this could create tension and negative behavior patterns that could result in lowered team standards and suffered performance.

5. The last team dysfunction is inattention to results.

This occurs when the members of the team are more focused on their own success rather than the collective success of the team. It is imperative that every person understand that the team’s success is their success too. It is essential for the team to feel united as they win and loose as a team.

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