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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.

May 6, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by three of his Agile colleagues, Erik Lindgren, Hal Hogue, and Adam Ulery.


In this episode, they discuss a common question with respect to Teams: Should we choose long-running Teams or dynamically formed ones? These four Agile colleagues share today valuable examples on how to form Teams and practical ways to help Teams succeed at delivering high-value products.


Key Takeaways

  • Advantages of long-lived cross-functional Teams:

    • Teams get to know each other better and build relationships.

    • Teams have working agreements that make them more effective.

    • Stability!

    • Much less coordination is needed.

  • Cons of long-lived Teams:

    • There is not much flexibility.

    • There is the risk of losing alignment with the rest of the organization.

  • What to do when someone’s professional goals push them in a different direction?

    • A Team could be kept together as long as possible but eventually, changes will happen.

    • We always need to look for ways for people to grow professionally.

  • What to consider when Teams are changing.

    • Keep the Team involved with the decisions that are being made.

    • When Teams change, the Team might be needing a skill that isn’t available.

    • Change is inevitable, be prepared for them.

  • What are the Team creation methods that work best?

    • A formal Team-forming workshop sets up Teams nicely for success, developing shared values.

    • Having a clear understanding of the type of work that the Team will be going after and based on that, finding the matched skills and competencies to that type of work.

    • Allow self-organization to happen.

    • Establish what is going to be created first in order to set up a Team; those Teams tend to grow organically.

    • Choosing a Team’s name can help people feel they belong and gives them the ability to become part of something bigger than themselves.

  • Why not both long-run and dynamically formed Teams?

    • Decide with your colleagues what can work better, encouraging self-organized Teams, since it is always positive to decide how the Team wants to be organized for the task in question.

    • The core of Agility is focusing on individuals and interactions.

  • When to form a new Team?

    • If you have some special project or initiative that may require deep specialties in an area.

    • Some Teams can come together to innovate in a particular area.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Listen to Podcast Ep. 5: Exploring an Experimental Mindset with Adam Ulery


Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell


Netflix Documentary, The Last Dance


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