Ah, rugby, that sport that nobody in the United States cares about. In an article for AgileConnection, Luis Novella nonetheless explains how rugby can inspire agile teams. In the end, teams are all about trust, and rugby and agile have this in common.
Trust in This
Novella has a passion for rugby, which to him symbolizes unconditional “support, trust, respect, generosity, and courage,” though you can associate such qualities with any team sport of your choice. These elements also apply to agile. Rugby demands shared leadership across many levels in order to craft strategies that win games, and agile teams are no stranger to shared responsibility. In both cases, people with specialized skills need to know when to run with the ball (figuratively or literally) and when to function in more of a support role. The rest of the team will then pivot to the needs of the chosen decision-maker:
The decision-maker also trusts that everyone behind him will be attentive and available. He believes that if his execution fails, no one will recriminate him; instead, he will be supported. In rugby, you inevitably “fail fast” and make plenty of decisions that turn out to be negative, but you know your innovation was encouraged and respected by the team. Your team trusts that you did the very best you can. They also trust that you have trained and prepared yourself to have been in the best possible condition to play.
It takes courage to make the step to agile, and then it takes continuing courage to trust that your teammates can get their work done without micromanagement. But once the team operates as a unit, as a big hive mind, greater results can be achieved.
You can view the original article here: http://www.agileconnection.com/article/what-rugby-can-teach-you-about-trust-agile-teams