News and thoughts

Using Belbin and other tools to make people Agile

By Søren "Sean" Holmberg - Owner

How do you make people agile?
Using Belbin in understanding the group dynamics, to help people embrace being agile.

Before I proceed, a fair warning. This and the next tool is partially self-reporting and as such they suffer from a certain level of confirmation bias. But as with any tool, it is all about how you use the outcome it produce. Please note that any test tool like Belbin, will not work unless you have the trust of your team, see yesterdays post.
Regardless, the Belbin tool can help uncover what dynamics are at stake in a team. Learning about the personal behaviour through 1:1 is good, but understanding people in a team context is of course essential, as a Project always consists of several team members. The self-reporting flaw, can be turned into an advantage. Because when people who feel safe with you as the leader report on themselves, they report on how they see themselves. That is a basis for conversation. The role for the leader or Project Manager is to not jump to conclusions. To stay with quoting my family, my grandfather said: Statistics is much like a lamp post. It is good to lean on, but does not shed much light. (The lamp does, not the post itself btw). Presented with the cobweb of team capabilities, it is all to easy for the leader to think like a football coach with a rich bench of qualified substitutes and just go for replacements where areas are not covered or an individual team member performs less according to the chart. But first of all replacing might not be possible, secondly it might not be wise. Again, use the tool as a conversation starter. Ask open ended questions. Both in 1:1 and in team meetings.
Read more on the Belbin Team Roles, click here.

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