• Mark Ghibril

The New Genre of Music Creation - Agile teams & leaders


Recently, I had an offsite workshop with my team to revisit our activities, define the next priorities and improve team work and collaboration.

As in every workshop, we had several team building activities, and one which rang bells in my head. We decided to collaboratively create a team tune. So, as you might guess, this wasn’t an easy challenge. We had initiated a collective team brainstorming session to reach our goal. After intensive creative ideation, we agreed:

  1. Our genre will be Regatten Pop

  2. Our rhythm will be positive and upbeat

  3. Team members decided to be the music composers and each chose an instrument they want while I took the role of the producer

  4. Use the Apple GarageBand for conduction & production (this is because we had Apple devices and I was familiar with the tool)

Each team member went away and started working on their instruments and beats separately, having full freedom on what they want to create, of course sticking to the Rhythm, genre & tool. After that, I collected each of the team member’s beats, put them together and we made our team tune. Of course, this needed multiple iterations to ensure the different instruments join in at the right time, fade at the right time and of course the right tune for the taste of the team. This activity really stuck with me because it is was an excellent real life example of what everyone is trying to achieve within Agile teams and leadership. In my perspective, leaders, especially in the digital Agile age, should work with their teams in such a manner that they give empowerment & freedom at the team, sub team and individual level, within a jointly agreed principles, and the leader should then link/connect/join everyone’s outputs to produce the final product. Based on the music journey we had, most important is to have GRIP in your principles:

  1. Genre: The Genre should be driven on the audience of your product. It can be sometimes the team internally (like in our case) but most of the time it will be for your digital consumer. Important is that you will never find a Genre that pleases all audience. So pick your primary audience wisely and work on the Genre for them.

  2. Rhythm: The rhythm is the Framework and tempo that you want the teams, sub teams and the individuals to work within. This is crucial as any diversion from the rhythm, which is not easily identifiable on the individual level but will definitely cause issues when you start joining the work on a sub team or team level. The rhythm will also drive your sprints and your outputs.

  3. Instruments: Instruments are the roles and tools each team, sub team and individual team member is taking and using to develop the tune/product. This has to be clearly defined from the beginning to ensure smooth progress, less friction within teams and of course enhanced collaboration/handovers/transitions.

  4. Production: Products/Sub products can be defined on sub team or team level or of course at a Organisation level. Here the leaders, at each level, have key role to play to connect the pieces together. The leader should also ensure that any required iterations are worked on within the teams, subteams or individuals themselves to ensure they are kept and felt empowered across the entire production process.

In the next 100 days,

  1. If not done already, review your principles and ensure it has at least the GRIP are within it

  2. Use the music analogy to simplify the communication of how agile teams can and should work

  3. Create your own team tune - its engaging, motivating and its FUN!

As for the finale, here is the Team Tune we came out with after the 2 hour team building exercise: https://soundcloud.com/user-60439946/team-tune

#Music #Agile #Consumer

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