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Top 5 Ideas – Intercultural Agile updated

This idea came about as a result of speaking with an interesting guy, Andreas, who is doing his MSc and working in an IT company and starting to learn about and use Scrum. Smart cookie. Anyway here are my top tips for working in intercultural teams and organisations.

  1. Keep an open mind recognise cultures often differ on values, ethics and drivers
  2. Take a broad perspective focusing on people, solving problems and building trust
  3. Be sensitive and consideratewhen in other’s countries, regardless of your role there
  4. Local knowledge for example holidays, festivals, customs, the capacity for chit chat, weather
  5. Local executive sponsorship involve senior people on the ground who can make a real difference
He had pointed out that my previous post included quite stereotypical German traits and I had to agree with a smile.

I believe most of the so called traits of any particular group (or strengths as I like to call them) can be hugely beneficial to teams.  I would add that every team is different and often generalisation in isolation is dangerous.

So what about those German strengths (or stereotypes)?

Detail and structure are particularly good at providing rigor and courage for any team – Agile or not.

However, my previous post’s focus was based on a single intercultural training session and a first foot into German culture. My opinion has certainly matured and will continue to, as I learn more about any team I work with.
Oh! And this particular group did provide great rigor and a lot more besides!

Julie Hendry

1 Reply to “Top 5 Ideas – Intercultural Agile updated”

  1. >Interesting post, several years ago a number of my team were very strict Jewish Orthodox, and meant that fridays were pretty much a none starter for them. Instead they came in after their sabbath on a saturday as a normal working day.

    Initially hard to get used to for the team, but then we came to accept that we had a dev team covering 6 of the 7 days of a week rather than 5.

    Once we sorted out the communication process, and handover on Thursdays it started to work well as we could provide a greater level of support to customers without having to get people to agree to work 'weekends'

    I had the same number of FTEs, just spread over 6 rather than 5 working days

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