Trust Workshop – Scrum Gathering Paris 2013

I recently facilitated a workshop entitled “Trust: A crucial ingredient for being successful with Scrum” with Ken Clyne at the 2013 Scrum Gathering in Paris. This was based on a workshop previously created (and indeed run several times) with Rachel Davies. Rachel and I initially created this workshop together for a mutual client with a previously hierarchical and dictatorial culture where trust was a clear issue. We found the format to be particularly useful with brand new teams where the members had not previously worked together, especially where we finish by producing a Team Charter of Behaviours that the team posted up on their wall.

Here is a PDF of the slides from the session:


We built a forcefield diagram of the driving and constraining factors for gaining and keeping trust. One of the things I love about running these sessions is the sheer volume of ideas. I have grouped the output from the previous sessions (see the final few slides in the presentation). I prefer to present the output from this session in raw form rather than paraphrase the attendees. The factors we gathered together were:

Driving Forces for building and maintaining trust

Openness; Cultural gap awareness; Congruence; Shared values (*2); Listening; Active listening (*2); Knowing each other (*2); Lack of ego; Feeling successful; Sharing failure and success; Face to face; Common goals; Common purpose; Being bought into and sharing a goal;  Expertise; Good references; Mutual respect; Co-location; Collaboration and talking; Reliable (*2); Being able to be vulnerable; Having fun and getting to know each other; Social activities; Do what you say and say what you do; Consistency; Openness without judgement; Openness; Product owner with a clear vision; Deal with conflict immediately; ScrumMaster / Coach who helps the team; Stick to promises; Feeling safe; Lack of fear; Authenticity; Feelings; Delivery; Accepting failure; Permission to fail and learn from it; Empowerment; Transparency (*3); Respect; Caring; Appreciation; Empathy (*2); Safe; Tit-for-tat / give & receive; Confidence; Tolerance; Being open and honest; Honesty; Multi-directional communication.

Constraining Forces that diminish or break trust

Inconsistency between what people say and do (*2); Fearfulness (*2); Blaming (*3); Insecurity; Not delivering; Broken promises; Excuses; Hidden agendas (*3); Lack of knowledge; People putting themselves on soapboxes (thinking they’re better than others); Not listening; Shallow agreement; Selfishness; Punishment for making mistakes; Lying; Firing people / downsizing; Favouritism and unfairness; Unclear roles and responsibilities; Mismatch of expectations; Lack of commitment; Inattention to results; Fear of conflict; Talking about you behind your back; Judgements based on assumptions; Fear of telling the truth; Empty promises; Not taking responsibility; Ego; Failure; Arrogance; Using incompatible languages; Uncertainty; Lack of communication; Negative pre-conceptions; Gossip; Finger-pointing; Dishonesty; Deception; Politics.

Tools for building and keeping trust

Team “WE”; Social event (200€ bar); Share personal history; Scrum; Playing games (*3); Innovation games / experimentation / fun; Retrospectives (*2); Shared vision; Common mission; Protect a person / the team; Eating; Food and drinks;  Collocation; Collocated team; Ice-breakers; Knowing each other; 1:1 conflict resolution; Sweets, cakes, alcohol; Open space (*2); Be a good person; Feedback; Appreciations; Appreciation cards; “Appreciations” (from Norm Kerth) (*2); Team events; Team lunch; 5 step feedback (NUC) & observations – interpretations; 360 feedback; Gemba walk/wall (no status reports); Lightening talks; Social events; Team building; Nice environment; Training; Feedback cycle; The right communication mediums for the called for situation / person (i.e. DevOps Skype chat / Twitter / Whatisapp group); Pairing matrix; Pairing; ScrumMaster; Encouraging communication; Be there on time; Achieving goals; Storytelling; Google hangouts; Open doors; Sharing pain (retrospective); Sketch yourself (e.g. cartoon); Personal manual; Use social media; Invitation ‘as expert’ to a meeting / Collaboration; Volunteering involvement (you can opt-out); Personality models (polarity constellation); Fun; Leading by example; Team room / sofas / table soccer; Quick wins / celebrate success; Temperature reading; Complaints and suggestions; Hopes and wishes; Toilet roll; Admitting mistakes; Ecstacy; Identify common goals, roles, dos and don’ts in a kick-off meeting (e.g. GPRI); Beer; Sharing personal moments; Social / informal activity; Team rules; Team outings.


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