Collaboration Mindset

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Collaboration Mindset
An agile organisation is one that is designed to collaborate. The very construct of the organisation - from the organisational structure, to the work processes and even the way the market is engaged - promotes collaboration and cooperation.

The complexity of collaboration is one of the fundamental reasons teams in an agile organisation are kept small. O(n2) (read: order n squared) to be precise[1]. 7±2 is a commonly accepted size. Decision making is localised to reduce the lines of communication and subsequent delays incurred. However, don’t let the goal of collaboration impact your ability to be productive. Sitting in meetings and talking is not collaboration whereas sitting quietly in a room by yourself can be.

Critical to effective collaboration is transparency of information, decisions, and relationships by default to provide a solid grounding for trust & respect between customers, peers and leaders. All individuals have the ability to know what is going on so that they can make appropriate decisions. This doesn't mean that everyone knows everything but that individuals have the choice of knowing anything. And, of course, the ability to be opaque to the competition while being transparent internally is the real art of a Collaboration Mindset.

There are many tools and practices that you can adopt to improve how your teams collaborate. For example, social contracts, pair programming (or pair work outside IT), and visualisation tools (like Kanban Boards, Burndown Charts or Cumulative Flow Diagrams).

Collaboration with External Organisations[edit | edit source]

Collaboration is complex enough inside an organisation. Once you include external organisations with a completely separate culture it becomes significantly harder. Collaboration techniques like Agile Contracts can significantly help with this.

References[edit | edit source]