Conflicts are the seeds for success of great teams

Often conflict is seen as something wrong that one should avoid. Some colleagues might not ever feel comfortable to disagree with other members of the team. However, disagreement or conflict situations are sure to happen, and great teams use them even as a creative force. In this article, you will discover how we handle conflict as a creative force at viesure.

Welcoming conflict doesn’t mean being destructive or addressing others in a hurtful way. It means questioning one another’s perspectives and ideas. We regularly inspect & adapt while working transparently: three key elements that make agile working successful.

At viesure we believe in innovation and want to create the best possible solutions for our customers. To maximize our outcomes, we cooperate and collaborate wherever possible.

At the same time, we admit mistakes, turn them into learnings and trust in the potential of our employees and partners.

Never stop challenging yourself

Living up to our vision is not always easy and certainly requires discipline, direct communication and feedback. Moreover, we continually remind ourselves and others of our core beliefs.

Setting high standards as a company means challenging the technologies we use and the way we collaborate at viesure. We use visual graphs for setting KPIs that show our limitations and indicate possibilities for improvement. Those are not only burndown charts and velocity charts (as is typical for working with scrum) we also orientate to self-set KPIs including sprint scope and more. Where useful we stick to processes and quality gates to ensure high standards within the teams. And while keeping in mind the big picture, we move forward one step a time and measure the impact of adaptations to adjust again if necessary.

And how do we challenge ourselves? In regular events such as team retrospectives. We ask questions to evaluate our status-quo:

  • What do we need to adapt to improve collaboration?
  • What will allow us to create value for our customers faster?
  • What holds us back currently?
  • Which other ways have we not considered yet to achieve the best quality?

Questioning includes fruitful discussions and leaving the retrospectives with take-aways and actions points that move us further to our goals.

We welcome conflict openly

How can a conflict-driven discussion be fruitful for the success of teams? First of all, we expect emerging conflicts during our meetings and see them as essential. For us, being direct and precise while staying open-minded and curious towards the whole discussion are the seeds for success. Cooperation and collaboration evolve through shared understanding, continuously communicating as well as specifying and clarifying the value we want to create for our users.

Cooperation and collaboration are also crucial during our “Story Champ Process” in our cross-functional teams. The Story Champ process is part of the preparation phase, in which we make sure the whole team has a shared understanding of what the value of every User Story is that we implement in the next development cycles, our sprints. We make sure that every team member is involved in the whole process and can challenge ideas early. “Fail fast and fail forward” means not only to appreciate feedback when completed. It means sharing opinions and ideas along the whole process to make sure we create value for our customers early.

Summary

Only if all team members engage in conflict openly and challenge perspectives and ideas constructively self-management of teams can happen. Be sure to create an environment where everybody on the team feels safe to use questions and make open-hearted comments while listening to each other. If you constantly remind and motivate yourself and others to keep up this spirit astonishing team results will be created.

You can dive deeper into scrum and agile working on the following sources:

https://www.agilealliance.org/agile-essentials/

https://medium.com/serious-scrum/what-does-inspect-and-adapt-really-mean-c9c61897027d

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