Team coaching

Team Coaching is about facilitating and supporting a group of people working towards the same goal, to maximise their effectiveness and motivation.

To create a high-performing team, things like a clear goal, clear expectations on roles and responsibilities, clear collaborative structure and strong communication culture, are key. These are things to work with regardless of how long the team have existed.

Team Development

All teams are going through a few stages in their natural team development similar to a human life (childhood, adolescence, young adults, adults, end of life). As a coach, one can both support the team in how they best act in a certain stage, but also help them evolve into the next stage. The approach is a bit different depending on the current stage.

Possible actions

  • Creating a deliberate developmental enviroment to evolve with intent
  • Coordination and facilitation of team structure and team culture as well as coaching for motivation for the childhood stage
  • Coaching effectiveness and mediating conflicts for the adolescent stage
  • Servant leadership and coaching efficiency for the young adult stage
  • Supporting and mentoring for the adult stage

Team Culture

The team culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared by a team. A toxic culture will lower the performance to a minimum in no time.

Possible actions

  • Facilitate common values workshop
  • Facilitate psychological safety workshop
  • Facilitate feedback workshop
  • Continuous culture follow-ups

Team Structure

The team structure entails both the composition of the team, their way of working and their artefacts that supports the previous two.

Possible actions

  • Advice hiring manager in team composition (e.g. for a strong collaborative cross-functional product-focused team)
  • Facilitate role expectation and mapping sessions
  • Teach modern way of working principles and methods for both discovery and delivery
  • Facilitate team agreement sessions
  • Help visualise and follow-up agreements and structure

Every team is different and the team members have their specific problems and opportunities. In the following section I list some examples of teams I have worked with.

Case study: Developing a team

Maturity mapping using the Collaboration Model

Case client

SVT Mixat

Background

To be able to improve, it has to be obvious what the starting point is, what the landscape of change looks like and what the end goal could be. It can start by raising awareness of the current state. 

Assignment

SVT Mixat wanted help improving their way of working. While we were talking, they realised the importance of mapping out their maturity in different areas and invited me to teach and workshop with them around the topic of improvement. 

Activities

  • Teaching both incremental change and mindshifts through a suitable mental model for the audience to get a grasp of the current effectiveness, collaboration level or organisational maturity etc. 
  • Teaching a shared language to base our further discussions on
  • Facilitating current activity mapping 
  • Identification of what activities need to be improved upon immediately, which ones that require a lot of work (mindshifts) and which ones that can be easily improved (incrementally). 

Delivery

  • Visualisation of the current state and the actions towards a future state on a board to easily follow up the improvement work. 
  • Insights gained in the organisation
  • A shared language to base discussions on
  • Setting up a structure for continuous improvement around maturity

Client benefit

The shared language around improvement probable gave the most impact in the team, giving birth to fruitful discussions in adjacent areas as well as acting as a catalyst for change within. The structure for continuous improvement based on maturity levels helped build a great foundation for even bigger improvement steps. The team found new practices that helped them raise the quality of their deliveries. Today, the previous members of this team are advocating for change in their new teams. 

Case study: Setting structure and culture

A continuous improvement session with the mob programming team Sportmobben

Case client

SVT Nyheter

Background

SVT Nyheter faced the challenge of discontinuing the Sports news app (which was done by a third-party) and placing the sports content in-house and somewhere fitting in their digital environment. The development manager recruited a cross-functional team, looking specifically for collaborative people wanting to work with problem and solution discovery as well as delivery.

Assignment

I was assigned to coach the team in mob programming (collaboration) and Lean UX (discovery and delivery) in addition to getting the team running smoothly.  I spent a total of 90 hours over 2 months with the team, establishing a culture of communication and innovation, a collaborative and empirical way of working, including a continuous improvement process. In the end, that helped deliver an innovative and user-centered integrated Sports solution in the News app and organisation.

Activities

  • Facilitating team setup (Team agreements, Team board, Competence mapping, Strengths and Motivations, etc)
  • Coaching team culture and communication with stakeholders
  • Teaching models (Collaboration model and Spiral Dynamics), principles (Agile, UX, Balanced team), methods (Mob programming, Product discovery, LeanUX, etc) and techniques (Core protocols, Impact feedback, Retrospectives, etc)

Delivery

  • A benign and genial team culture including efficient, effective and motivated team members
  • An innovative, collaborative, sustainable and self-healing process for the team, without aggravating lead times

Client benefit

The development manager stated that the team managed one of the smoothest product release in the lifetime of SVT,  after the goal “News and Sport — One Service, One Experience” that the team set up was reached just in time for the World Cup 2018. He also noted that the team could solve any problem thrown at them, by working as one entity, for instance to solve a sudden problem with a presentation software during a demo. Some of the team’s practices also went viral in the organisation, turning the team members into mentors for others. 

Several team members were happy with the mob programming method specifically and a blog post was written about it:

100% of the team in a mob for 12 months — taking mob programming a couple of steps further