High Performing Technical Teams Rely on Effective Collaboration

Added to Process

For groups of individual contributors to become teams that can achieve greatness together takes more than technical skills. The journey also requires what some are calling “permanent” skills. The Agile Manifesto creators may have meant all of the values to have equal weight, but for me, it’s  no accident that “Individuals and Interactions over Process and Tools” is listed at the top! For these reasons, I am honored to serve as track chair for “Interaction Skills” at deliver:Agile 2018.

Our program team has carefully curated a stellar group of invited presenters that offer practical advice and stories of experience. Interaction Skills sessions include:

  • “The Tester’s Mission” Ash Coleman leads off with a discussion of the power of framing tester-team conversations as risk assessments rather than quality guarantees. She will demonstrate the criticality of tester contributions when closely integrated with the team.
  • “Cops and Robbers: Bootstrapping Team Unity Through Working Agreements” Experienced technical coach, Matt Plavcan, emphasizes the danger in taking team alignment for granted. He takes participants on an exploration of the ways working agreements boost the power of technical teams.
  • “Dynamic Reteaming at Fast Growing Companies” Heidi Helfand has written and presented extensively about her Dynamic Reteaming model. In this session, she zeros in on the challenges faced by companies that experience extreme team growth and split cycles.
  • Optimizing for Collaboration: Unlocking the Continuous Fountain of Ideas” With his inimitable track record of introducing us to the unexpected, Michael D. (Geepaw) Hill takes us on a journey toward the complexity of collaboration. Using no slides, Geepaw shows us the areas to optimize: Drive, Sustenance, Pathfinding, and Collaboration, and the structures and process that enable them.
  • “Testing for Communication” How can programmer tests support effective communication among team members? Chris Stead shares how tests help developers to communicate across time and space about the program and how it works.
  • In a session not yet named, Katherine Kirk brings her unique perspective on social interactions among team members. Does every team member deserve the “pursuit of happiness” or is sharing the less pleasant work an important interaction skill?
  • “Everyday Beliefs Come True – Creating Greatness through the Stories We Tell A famous anthropologist once said, “Culture is the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.” Allison Pollard and Michael Jesse bring a session that emphasizes the stories teams tell and how to recognize their impact. Teams can be coached to tell stories that lead them to greatness or hold them back. Which happens on your team?
  • “Building Your Team to Last: Successful Onboarding and Mentoring Practices” Sarah Withee amplifies the voices of underrepresented groups in tech fields. Sarah will share effective practices that work to form and sustain diverse teams. Enabling both higher performing teams and higher quality products.

The full deliver:Agile 2018 program will be available online soon. These Interaction Skills sessions will add richness to the amazing technical program in store. Register now and join us in Austin, TX, in April.

About the Author

Diana Larsen consults with leaders and their teams to create work environments where people flourish and push businesses to succeed. She is an international authority in Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. Diana co-authored Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; and The Five Rules of Accelerated Learning. In collaboration with James Shore, she developed the Agile Fluency™ Model. Diana Larsen consults with leaders and their teams to create work environments where people flourish and push businesses to succeed. She is an international authority in Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. Diana co-authored Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; and The Five Rules of Accelerated Learning. In collaboration with James Shore, she developed the Agile Fluency™ Model. She is a past Chair and former board member (2007–2013) of the Agile Alliance Board of Directors.


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