Cross-Functional Teams: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s rapidly evolving and complex business environment, diversity, collaboration, and innovation are more critical than ever. When departments work in isolation, this can lead to communication breakdowns and a lack of shared vision, as well as inefficiencies that hinder growth. Enter cross-functional teams, a dynamic approach to project management and problem-solving that is transforming the way businesses operate.

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Growing as a Scrum Master and Beyond

Last Wednesday, the 11th of November, we ran our webinar "Growing as a Scrum Master and Beyond"! This topic clearly resonated with many, as we set a new record number of participants. We spotted familiar names who have been following us over the years, and many new names we hope to see again. It makes us happy to see our webinar network growing! 

We had the great honour of welcoming two guests on this webinar, Jelena Vucinic and Bob Stomp, who joined our CSP-SM training this fall. Together with agile42 trainers & coaches, Giuseppe De Simone and Niels Verdonk, we hope they provided you with the content you were after. 

As the coaches mentioned early on in the webinar, being a Scrum Master in a company is much more than just attending a 2-day training to get certified. Whilst your role is to primarily coach the team, it is also to teach, give advice, be a mentor and role model of the Agile and Scrum values and principles. This is not always an easy task. The knowledge and skills you need as a Scrum Master will grow through education, perhaps some additional coaching and most of all the experience and support of other Scrum Masters in your organization and network. 

As Jelena mentioned during the webinar, a typical day for a Scrum Master is not only to facilitate Scrum meetings, however a multitude of other undertakings. You observe the team, prepare for meetings, follow-up action points from meetings, handle impediments, have 1-on-1 meetings with the team members and stakeholders when needed and think about new ways in which you can help your team.

The webinar attendees were particularly interested in the ways you can grow as a Scrum Master, for which there are various paths. You can of course take the training provided on the Scrum Master growth path as visualised in the diagram below. Each training goes deeper into the content of the Scrum Master, and you will gain valuable new skills and learnings to add to your toolbox. The below diagram shows the steps to become a CSP-SM: 


We recommended reading The Hitchhikers Guide to Agile Coaching and checking out the post on 5 books we believe every Scrum Master should read.

Other training we offer is the Advanced Team Coaching Course which we recommend for those who already have CSM certification. There is also the ICAgile Team Facilitation Certification to support you as a Scrum Master. Furthermore you could consider coaching from one of our Agile coaches, for example, to grow you or your team of Scrum Masters.

Many of you listening asked us about the whole CSP path, how to grow skills and mindset as well as next steps after CSP-SM certification, and we feel that depends on what skills you wish to deepen. Below you can see examples of next steps, and our Mentoring programme can assist you on these paths. Mentoring is a long term commitment both from your side and the Mentors side, and this is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, and to grow and learn together. 

If you would like to explore next steps on your individual growth path and/or like to enquire about our Mentoring programme after the CSP-SM, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to help.

Our upcoming trainings can be found here - take the next step on your journey with us!

The recording is available online. Feel free to watch it again and share with your network. It is also available on YouTube.


Below you will find the slides, with some further content. Please also feel free to share the slides around.


Connect with us on social media, to stay updated with blogs, webinars, training and other events which support your learning journey :) 


Have a great weekend, and don't forget to check out post and upcoming webinars!

agile42 meets Swedbank – in a webinar

As many of you might have seen, agile42, along with our long-standing client, Swedbank, wrote a Success Story about our journey together. Ever since we've been keen to host a webinar on this, to tell the story! We had the honour of inviting Cecilia Kåhrström to join the webinar with us, where she, together with agile42Sweden's, Giuseppe De Simone, walked the audience through the work we did together. 

The journey has been long: some parts of the work with Swedbank began back in 2014. This webinar and the Success Story, specifically focused on the work with Group IT, which started in 2018. A lot has been done together since then, and we are happy to say that we today can call Cecilia and all Group IT leaders and employees, not clients, but friends. 

In the picture below, Cecilia summarized all the activities that supported the achievement of their current level of agility and we are particularly proud of the bubbles on the right. In fact they show the things which Swedbank continued on their own after we left, witnessing the accomplishment of our mission: grow our clients’ capabilities so that they are able to persevere on their path to agility sustainably after we leave.

The discussion between Cecilia and Giuseppe opened up these topics. 

A particular focus was given to one of the most important factors in this Success Story: how the leaders understood early on that agility could not be achieved just by buying and deploying a predefined process. It was amazing to observe how fast they got this clear understanding compared to other leaders we've met that are just looking for a pre-packaged solution. Every organization that is interested in becoming sustainably agile needs to make this journey on their own: you should not worry about reinventing the wheel, because the journey is more important than the goal.

The slides from the webinar can be found here. You are welcome to have a look at them, and for any questions you have, you can turn to us.

This webinar broke our record with questions from the audience. We had more questions than we could answer. From the recording you can hear the answers that we managed to get to live.

If you missed the live webinar, the recording is available here! It is also available on YouTube. Please have a look at it and feel free to share it around with friends and colleagues.

We hope that you enjoyed this Success Story. For any questions, feel free to reach out to us!

*Follow this link to view upcoming & past webinars on our website*

Starting a Scrum Team

This blogpost will give you insights into starting a Scrum team, with a recording from the webinar and some additional information to support you with this journey.

As with Scrum in general, starting a team is easy to understand but difficult to master. I presented a webinar on this topic where I wanted to run you through the finer points of starting a team. Starting a team is not just explaining Scrum and proclaiming: “Go!”. It is a process in which the level of complexity needs to be evaluated in order to determine the right approach to move forward. Will Scrum really benefit you? Once this has been established it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts. I discussed what steps need to be taken in the first few weeks and what to expect while establishing a healthy team. 

Since we are progressively stepping into a world where remote collaboration is becoming the standard, I created the opportunity for Q&A during the webinar where we discussed some interesting questions regarding remote collaboration as well as other pain points. This can be heard in the recording of the webinar.

For those who missed the live session, don't panic! Here you can find the recording, and it is also available on YouTube.  Have a look and feel free to share with friends and colleagues. If there is anything we can help you with regarding this topic, feel free to contact us



We would also like to share a few links that may be of interest to you. We have a Scrum start-up package for kicking off new Scrum teams, and this link gives you some insights into this service. We would be more than happy to walk through with you how we can help support your teams. Please keep in mind that e.g. the Team Kickoff can be done every now and then with the teams, and we strongly recommend this e.g. after summer vacations or winter breaks. 

As we mentioned in the webinar, if you want to take your basic learnings to the next level, we recommend Certified Scrum Master (CSM) training. At agile42 we are currently running this training remotely, and dates can be found from the listing. 

For more on the topic of team dynamics, you can always book sessions with a coach, and if you want to learn how to support your teams with this, please have a look at the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) training or the Advanced Team Coaching Course (ATCC) where you can boost your own skills. These trainings give you, as an Agile Coach or Scrum Master, valuable support to help you with your teams. 

We have all kinds of support for the Agile teams, and many of the steps that I listed in the webinar are services we can provide, so please connect with us and we would be more than happy to help.


For more webinars and recordings, please look here! More  webinars!




What does it mean for a team to be truly self-organised?

I love the way Claudette Moore sums up what a self-organised team is all about:
Self Organised is the capacity you have as a team to arrange yourself in such a way that you can effectively and happily complete tasks that you have committed to within the constraints that a company puts on you. – Claudette Moore
In my opinion, a typical self-organised team needs the time and support to mature. It is not an easy process, and can’t be forced. During the process there will be laughter and tears, conflict and collaboration. This is all worth it in the end, as without going through this process, all you have is a framework. Ultimately, to become a high performance team, this path needs to be followed. The results however, are well worth it – a team that is highly collaborative, cross skilled, able to solve complex problems, remove their own impediments, delivering high value outcomes, focused and driven to achieve results and true value.

In my opinion, for a team to become self-organised, they need the following:

    • Framing / Boundaries in which they can work. It’s important to include managers in this process so that the managers understand that a self-organised team does not make them redundant.


    • Trust among each other and the Scrum Master.


    • Goals and a vision not only for the product they are delivering, but for each sprint as well.


    • Measurement – you need to know where you are in order to see if you are improving. Be careful with this one, using the wrong metrics can destroy a team.


    • Encouragement to fail early to maximise learning. This behaviour should be supported by the business and not punished.


    • Support and direction by business and Scrum Master so that they are encouraged to solve their own problems and not dictated solutions.


    • Autonomy to decide not only how but who.

Team Maturity

From my perspective, a new team will go through four levels of maturity. It is important to understand at what level the team is, in order to guide appropriately.

I use the analogy of growing up from infancy to adulthood to describe these four levels:

    1. Infancy
        • New to Agile / Scrum.
        • Haven’t actually adopted scrum in a working environment yet
        • In a dream like state after been sold all the pros of Agile and in theory it sounds wonderful and easy and their lives will be trouble free.
        • The trainers are like the parents, teaching their new borns and the new borns just accept everything they are fed.


    1. Toddler
        • Might still need to be micromanaged, require work to be allocated, decisions to be made for them.
        • Not willing or have the courage to challenge peers or managers. Happy to still just do as they are told.
        • Blaming external forces for non delivery and not finding ways to improve as a team (specifically retro’s).
        • Focusing on personal delivery and not the delivery of the team.
        • Don’t own or take responsibility for delivery.
        • Think being busy working on a bunch of stuff, means they are working hard.
        • Not focused on priority, but still influenced by who shouts the loudest.
        • Not very disciplined.
        • Still not able to see the real value of Scrum, no real adoption yet.
        • Level of re-work might still be high.


    1. Adolescence
        • Able to organise as a team, most of the time, in terms of making decisions on how the work will be completed.
        • Start to realise that starting too many things and not finishing, isn’t the best way to work.
        • Still focused on individual performance. Collaboration level still not great.
        • Start to challenge the process and Product Owner.
        • Start to reflect internally and not just externally.
        • Starting to focus on value based priority.
        • Able to deal with minor obstacles and start to solve their own problems without waiting for guidance.
        • Taking more responsibility, but will still look at someone or something else to blame.
        • Level of discipline is improving.
        • Starting to see the value of Scrum but adoption is shallow.


    1. Adult
        • Honest with each other, challenge each other, trust each other.
        • Able to reflect internally and find opportunities for improvements as a team and the way they work together.
        • Solve own problems.
        • Work as a team, level of collaboration high, and focus on finishing important work first.
        • Level of discipline high.
        • Able to challenge the business and are focused on delivering value for the customer.
        • Focused on quality and not quantity.
        • Understand the value and adopted Agile technical practices like continuos integration, BDD (Behavioural Driver Development) , TDD (Test Driven Development),  Automated testing etc.
        • Agile adoption is much deeper.

So as I said, the way a Scrum Master would interact and help a team develop, all depends on which level they are.

What can you do as a Scrum Master to influence self-organisation?

    • Identify at what stage the team is at and act accordingly. Let the team develop at their own pace.


    • Model behaviour expected from the team and by leaders.


    • Coach managers to become leaders.


    • Make sure the team understands their boundaries.


    • Have values and principles that you and the team stand by.


    • Focus on the core principles of Agile and ensure that the actions of the team supports these principles.


    • Keep things simple, always review what you and the team are doing. Keep looking back at the basics.


    • Encourage the team to try.


    • Ask powerful questions that make the team think rather than offer solutions e.g.
        • Is there another way?
        • Can you explain that to me?
        • How can we test that?
        • How can you help in the delivery of the Sprint?


    • Support the team and their decisions and protect them from the business or anything that attempts to derail them.


    • Coach the Product Owner and ensure they understand their boundaries.


    • Coach the business in terms of what Agile means, and what a self-organised team means.

I hope you are able to find some value in this and I welcome any feedback or questions.