I read the article from Dorie Clark about what Amy Edmondson is saying to be a better team player. The article can be found here: Link


The five ways Amy describes

  • Create ground rules
  • Ensure everyone participates
  • Don’t assume others know what you do
  • Share, analyze, decide
  • Failure means succeeding at learning

has for me a lot to do with Agile practices such as Scrum it has.


Lets analyse the 5 ways just short how we are doing it in Agile.

Create ground rules

In Scrum we also have such rules, for example quality. For each rule we have ways how we want to reach that goal. If this goal is not met in one sprint, we reflect what went wrong and why to find a way to improve it.  Our way to do it is to have a retrospective after each sprint to reflect how our rules or values are going and how we can improve it.

Ensure everyone participates

In Scrum we have a lot of necessary meetings. Lets take the Daily Scrum for example. The team meets every day to the Daily Scrum to share to each other what he’s doing, where the problems are and what he or she is going to do next. The ScrumMaster ensures that everybody says something and just facts. No large stories in this meeting. This is the same in all meetings, that everybody participates. Teams are small and so, the communication is, i would say after a while, very good in the team.

Don’t assume others know what you do

I’m not sure that there is really a process about it as a single one. Probably it is the Daily Scrum, to identify the daily problems. The whole Scrum process ensures that the people are talking to each other to identify what the other thinks and how this can help.  If it is difficult to explain, sit together and pair or explain on a whiteboard. This is a natural process in scrum.  The telling, asking

Share, analyze, decide

For me, its going a little bit to the previous rule.

Failure means succeeding at learning

Nobody is perfect. No process is perfect. So we need the time to make failure and then learn from it. The most effective way to do it is in the retrospective meeting. Where the whole team identifies stuff that went well and things that don’t. For all things that went bad, identify why this happened and find possible solutions. Decide which one the team will work next sprint to eliminate problems step by step.


For me, to be a better team player has a lot to do with communication. Projects or teams which do not communicate, are not productive as teams and projects which do this a lot better. This is for me the reason why an Agile approach is more successful than others. For me, it has a lot to do with open, transparent communication. This you can find in the Daily Scrum, Planning Meeting, Retrospective Meeting or in the daily work of each member. A common practice is also to do Pair-Programming and doing Coding-Dojos. This is also a way of communication. The communication of getting better and find ways how the team will code together. This is a great team building mechanism. So in short words, communication is essential in a team or project. It helps team members understand what the other is doing and where he or she has problems. It helps identify where are the problems to find solutions for them. It helps the team to understand what they have to do. Of course, it is not a silver bullet, but it can improve a lot of the daily pain.


Communication Is ESSENTIAL 🙂



Become a Better Team Player
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