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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Sep 17, 2021

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Quincy Jordan, who is a Director, Innovate-executive advisor, and a recurrent contributor to the Agile Coaches’ Corner. Today Dan and Quincy are exploring a very interesting topic often brought up by organizations: Which team is the Rock Star Team?


In this episode, you will hear about how to identify the best team, avoiding common mistakes such as measuring teams on their velocity or delivery rates, and also, how to understand what an organization really wants when they ask for the best team.


Key Takeaways

  • Which team is the rock star team?
    • It depends! But first, ask yourself which problem you consider you will solve with an answer to that question?
    • Is the best team the one that delivers the most? Not necessarily; you need to keep on asking questions such as: Why are they producing the most? Does it have a healthy culture? Is the whole team working or is there one person doing it all? Remember that volume of output does not dictate value.
    • It takes time for a team to function well; we are human beings, not robots!


  • What are the drivers behind the question from organizations asking for the best team?
    • Organizations want to know how to invest, what to look for in terms of return, and how to save.
    • Organizations might be looking to reward teams the right way.


  • What are some classic ways in which organizations try to measure a team’s productivity?
    • Velocity is a way of measuring a team’s performance but it can easily get dangerous.
    • A rock star team uses velocity to improves itself.
    • A team that improves in diminishing the number of carryover stories keeps on getting better.
    • A great team hits the sprint’s goal and counts with some level of consistency.
    • Volatility: How is the team’s velocity changing from sprint to sprint?


  • Possible impediments for a team.
    • Is the team really challenging itself? A rock star team challenges itself, if they are achieving the goal too early it can be a sign of them not pushing themselves enough.
    • Watch out that the metric does not become the goal.
    • Not always the top people will make the top team.


Mentioned in this Episode:

God Is My CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom-Line World, Larry Julian.

Learn more about Quincy Jordan


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