Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Aug 16, 2019

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by AgileThought colleague, Eric Landes, to discuss real vs. fake teams! Landes, who comes from a DevOps background, originally started out as a developer. Currently, he serves as a Senior DevOps Consultant, ALM Director, and Solutions Architect. In his roles, he helps clients deliver value to customers in their software delivery pipeline, and has extensive experience in leading organizations in adopting agile and lean frameworks, like Scrum and Kanban.


In today’s discussion about real vs. fake teams, Dan and Eric talk about what distinguishes between the two, the benefits to having a real team vs. a fake one, and how you can help enable teams to move from ‘fake’ to real. Tune in to hear it all!


Key Takeaways

What distinguishes a real team vs. a fake team?

Real teams collaborate while fake teams cooperate

Fake teams are groups of individuals that are not behaving together and do not have a shared goal or outcome

Real teams have a collective focus, they are catching defects before they happen, and there are code reviews happening in real-time

Fake teams observe rather than code in real-time (so they end up with really delayed feedback)

Fake teams generally have lots of individuals, working on lots of different problems at the same time (therefore, they’re not really building on each other’s ideas)

Real teams have an interest in continuously improving together, whereas fake teams may have a rockstar or two who go after self-improvement where the rest don’t

Benefits of having a real team:

Faster delivery pattern with higher quality

A real team collaborates and keeps the whole team’s focus in check

It’s a lot more energizing than working in isolation

Benefits of quality and speed and delivery

The focus from the accountability you get from being on a team helps eliminate brain distraction

Happier employees

How to enable teams to move from “fake” to real:

Making coding katas or dojos a regular thing for the team

If you’re management and the team wants to hone their craft, help enable that

Defining the goals for real collaboration beforehand with your team can help enable more effective collaboration

Does the team have a goal that makes sense for them? If they don’t, then start there in establishing one

When you do have a goal for the team, look at the product backlog and make sure it is structured in a way that enables collaboration

In the retrospective, help the team see some things that might be opportunities for improvement that would encourage a collaborative focus


Mentioned in this Episode:

Eric Landes (LinkedIn)

Agile 2019 Conference

Woody Zuill

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts, by Annie Duke


Eric Landes’ Book Picks:

Training from the Back of the Room!, by Sharon L. Bowman

How to Lead When You're Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority,
by Clay Scroggins


Want to Learn More or Get in Touch?

Visit the website and catch up with all the episodes on!

Email your thoughts or suggestions to or Tweet @AgileThought using #AgileThoughtPodcast!