Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong

Teamwork and self-organisation require the right environment to flourish



Teams and teamwork are an important part of the foundations of Agile Development, with its emphasis on face to face communication, motivated individuals, and self organising teams, among other things.

Good teamwork allows teams to deliver a lot of value to their customers in a short amount of time. However achieving good teamwork is easier said than done—it requires quite some effort to achieve, but it can be very easy to destroy.

In this talk I'll share my experience in helping teams to work better together (including some mistakes I made), along with some advice you may find useful—both for dealing with new projects and teams, as well as for dealing with existing projects and teams that are not performing as well as they could, or are experiencing difficult times.

This talk includes among other things:
- Nurturing an environment of trust and openness
- How to help collaboration and self-organization
- Accommodating neuro-diversity in teams
- WIIFM (What's In It For Me) factor
- The importance of the environment surrounding the teams
- The role of managers
- Dealing with conflict, and frustration
- The importance of humour
- Methodology, processes and simple rules
- Demotivators
- Teamwork killers

The techniques I'll discuss are largely independent on project size—I've successfully used them to help projects ranging from one small team of 5-6 people to very large distributed ones involving tens of teams in several countries.

The title is from a book from Carl Larson and Frank M. J. Lafasto, where the authors describe their findings on what make teams great.

Audience background

Everybody with some experience working in software development projects. Especially suitable for managers and team leads.

Benefits of participating

Get a better understanding on how to help teamwork and self-organisation succeed, along with some techniques that can be readily applied.

Materials provided



Is a standard talk with lots of interactions—I tend to answer questions as I go and also to let attendees share their experiences .


I'll make the slides publicly available. There might be also some blogs based on the session.


This would be the first time.


  1. Giovanni Asproni
    Zuhlke Engineering