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What are the biggest differences you observe between Agile and traditional teams?

Are you curious about the fundamental differences between agile and traditional teams? This is an interesting question because there can be huge differences. 

Sound confusing. Well, not really. Let me explain.

While these two approaches might seem like contrasting ends of the spectrum, the reality can often surprise you.

I’ve worked with teams from a traditional approach who are really good and fully understand the goal and work together to achieve it. It’s rare in the traditional world of teams, but it can happen. 🎯

In my career journey, I’ve worked with traditional teams that functioned with exemplary agility. Yes, you heard it right! 🏋️‍♀️

These teams understand their shared objective, synergise their efforts to achieve it, and seamlessly step beyond their prescribed roles.

The crux of their success? Effective leadership, team spirit, and a deep understanding that the ultimate goal surpasses process and job titles.

Processes do not tie down such teams but are instead liberated by purpose. They do not seek validation in job titles but find fulfilment in collective triumph. 🏆

They understand that collaboration fuels innovation and individual contribution complements the team‘s prowess.

Power of Mindset

Both agile and traditional teams can perform exceptionally well under the right circumstances. The key lies not in the prescribed methodologies but in the mindset and commitment of the team members.

Let’s explore how both methodologies, driven by effective leadership, shared objectives, and a collaborative spirit, can uniquely fuel innovation and productivity.

In the following discussion, we delve into the dynamic divergence between Agile and traditional teams, shedding light on the nuances that set them apart and the common thread that often goes unnoticed.

Agile vs. Traditional Teams

Here’s an interesting thought: what are the most significant differences I have observed between agile and traditional teams? 🌐

At times, these differences can be colossal, yet at others, they may be practically non-existent🧩

Recognising the Agile Manifesto

The first value of the Agile Manifesto is individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Sounds simple, right? 🔍

Well, in the traditional world of teams, that can become a tricky value to adhere to.

Suppose you’ve had the privilege of working in high-performing agile or scrum teams. In that case, you’d recognise the unmistakable approach of adhering to this first value of the Agile Manifesto, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools,” echoes in their functioning.

However, despite their differences, success is about people first, cultivating a conducive environment for brainstorming and collaboration in both the agile and traditional worlds.  It’s about empowering teams to step beyond the boundary of roles, fostering a culture of shared responsibility. 🤝

Common thread

The question then is, ‘Are there differences between agile and traditional teams?’ As covered in this article, the answer is not as straightforward as the question. 🧭

And the answer has nothing to do with the intention behind that question.

It all boils down to the fact that there can be stellar teams in both realms because it’s not about the label of ‘agile’ or ‘traditional’. It’s about understanding the work and the significance of solving problems collectively.

As agile coaches, we aim to create an environment where teams can thrive, understand their shared objective, and collaborate to achieve it.

What’s encouraging is that teams operating traditionally can transition into the Agile realm without losing their understanding of the importance of coming together and solving their work collaboratively.  They comprehend that the process isn’t the alpha and omega but about the people and their collective ambition.

Master Agile and Scrum

Are you keen to learn firsthand how Agile and Scrum methodology outshines traditional team approaches? 📢

Enrol in one of our comprehensive courses today and elevate your understanding to a whole new level.

Tap into the true power of Agile and Scrum, boost your team’s productivity👍

author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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