How to define purpose for an Agile team? A practical guide to defining purpose and aligning with your organization’s goals

How to define purpose for an Agile team? A practical guide to defining purpose and aligning with your organization’s goals
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As a Scrum Master, we are often worried about what goes on with the teams we work with.

We care about the people. We help the team communicate, collaborate so that they can achieve the team’s goals.

However, we often don’t work on a larger goal: the goal of the organization that needs that team. Organizations exist to fulfill certain goals or aspirations. The teams we work with are part of that organization and have a role to play in helping the organization achieve its goals.

When was the last time you had a retrospective or a conversation with your team members about the goals of the organization, and how the team goals help (or not) with the organization’s goals?

Questions to help the team align with the organization

Here’s a set of questions you can ask the team members in that retrospective:

  • What is the most important goal for my organization? Brainstorm with the team, and then use dot-voting to select the goal that the team thinks is most important
  • Who should we review the goal we just prioritized to get feedback? Agree on 2 to 3 stakeholders you will present the outcome of the previous question so that you can gather feedback, and potentially change the goal the team should align with.

In the next retrospective, review the result of the feedback you collected. Help the team craft a clear goal that is aligned with the goal of the organization. I recommend you follow these steps every 6 months at least, with the aim of having a team/organization goal review every 3 months later on.

How often do you review the team goals and compare those with the goals of the organization?

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