Scrum – the silent facilitator of trust

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Trust is not only a great, but an essential asset to have within any team. It allows for ideas to flow freely, eliminates looking over each other’s shoulder and mergers different people into a unit. A team that trusts each other, brings forward better and faster results, makes the clients happier and in turn creates a prosperous environment for years to come. There is no doubt, trust is great, the question though is – how do we create it?

Building trust within a new team is often tedious and burdensome task that not all leaders are ready to cope with. There are essentially three points to ensure trust – we need to know that we are understood, that the deadlines will be followed and that promises are going to be kept. Besides all the small little details, following these three points will most likely guarantee that the team will be working within a trusting environment.

While it is easy to name these principles, following and putting them into practice is a whole another ball game that many struggle with. However, what if there actually was no need to cope with this task? What if appointing a specific project management method could do all of that for us? Well, then we would all be happy and we would all be using scrum to manage our projects.

Scrum as an agile project management method has been used for years now, however, the idea of it helping build trust within a team was never greatly discussed. While in fact, adoption of this method, aids to do it in exactly three ways – between the team members, between the team and the customers and lastly between the team and the upper management. It solves various levels of authority and accountability issues at once and all of this happens by organizing the work in a specific way.

  • Everyone is heard – everyone understood

In its core scrum needs a lot of collaboration from everyone and keeps the lines of communication open at all times. To write user stories, build a product backlog and prioritize it effectively all sides need to be truly heard and understood. By attempting this process the teams are establishing the trust of understanding without even fully realizing it and thus taking the first step into successful collaboration.

  • The deadlines set

The next step comes with defining clear goals and deadlines. After understanding each other, all involved parties agree upon what is going to be completed and when (by defining sprint duration and the work to be done on each of them). This gives a clear sense of what is happening and furthers the trust of project success and capability of the people involved to conquer the task.

  • The things get done

To get the final part of the trust, things have to be not only planned and promised, but to be done. With potentially shippable product after every sprint, the scrum method truly delivers. This process slowly builds the trust of all the parties involved and after every successfully completed sprint, the trust in each other only gets deeper.

While by no means is scrum a magical remedy for those looking to improve trust within their teams, it does facilitate the process for those who have decided to take on the methodology. The method empowers the players to trust each other simply by creating a work environment that is based on understanding, punctuality and results.

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