Tribes – Our Scrum Team

tribes and warcraft
Our Team Has Many Different Players!

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to lead a software development team for a good amount of time, you get to know them. They become not only just co-workers, but also friends, and even people that you may invite over for a BBQ at your house. Or, maybe thats just how I am.

Over time I’ve begun to see the Agile Team like a tribe: A self-organizing unit that organizes work and tasks amongst themselves. They have accountability, team work, and individual responsibility all wrapped together. With the right culture (a culture of empowerment), this team can feel enabled to look at their responsibilities as more than just a defined role on paper.

I would encourage any leader of a team, and even an Agile coach to look at their team this way. The way of enablement and support. Allowing team members to not only just be a cog-in-a-wheel, but allow them a solid voice to what happens in development.

When I enter into a client site I often sit down with a team and tell them that I see them as a tribe. I see them as a working unit and each person will (given the right circumstances) have autonomy, control over how they work, and purpose, aligning individuals aspirations with not only company $ goals, but personal growth potential.

This allows each team member to draw from their own experiences, motivations, and passions and can give more than just development time to a project. To elicit more from a team requires a great leader, someone who can lead the charge and provide the right environment for all tribe members to do their very best.

Author: peter

Peter Saddington is an Organizational Scientist and Certified Scrum Trainer. You can find him at

7 thoughts on “Tribes – Our Scrum Team”

  1. This post would make Seth Godin proud!

    When I took over as Manager of Software Engineering, I learned what was important to MY team. That meant I offered time off for Diwali instead of Christmas. It meant we ordered in the curry instead of pizzas on deployment night. Take care of your team and they will take care of you.


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