Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

Coaching Circle – Team Maturity


What do you think of when I say team maturity? Do you immediately categorize whether you team is or isn’t? Do you start justifying? And who is in that team? Just developers, maybe a tester? What about your scrum master’s maturity? And your product owners maturity? How do all these various maturity levels affect one another?

At our coaching circle we delved into this little dark corner a bit more…
Everyone was given homework to do a week before and bring their answers in. This worked very well – it ensured everyone was in the right frame of mind and had already formed some thoughts and opinions on the topic.

If I say there are 3 levels of team maturity:        [1] immature –> [2] learning –> [3] mature

  • What characteristics would you expect to see in each of these teams?
  • What would they be doing?
  • Who would the team comprise of? dev only? PO? SM? Team lead?
  • What responsibilities would you expect these teams to have?


–starting off–

We started the session with a quick “get to know someone better” exercise.

Pair up and ask your partner 5 questions (I stuck up questions) then report back to the group the one more interesting thing you learnt about that person.
–gathering data–

Here we started with “Immature” and i asked everyone to scribble down their homework thoughts on stickies and hand them to me, I read them out and stuck them on the board as they came up.  After that we did “Learning” and “Mature”.

I then showed some research I had found on team and maturity and read through the findings … it was nice to see the correlation with what we had done and what the research I found showed.

I then asked – “What about scrum master maturity?” What are the characteristics of an immature vs learning vs mature scrum master?We very quickly came up with some interesting observations, and had a discussion about “Situational Leadership”  that someone had studied.

Moving along swiftly to “What about Product Owner maturity?”A lot more data came out here.


–generating insights–

Next up was to see where our greater teams were with respect to maturity. For each team on a sticky write down T (team), S (scrum master), P (product owner) and grade each 1(immature), 2 (learning), 3 (mature).


I stuck these up and we discussed what we noticed…. The biggest eye opener was that the Product Owner maturity was lower for all of us – clearly a sign that the role is a difficult one – and perhaps not focussed on enough.



We wrapped up by selecting our topic for the next circle and thanks to the first exercise where someone bragged about their Tiramisu – they were volunteered in to facilitate and thus bring their Tiramisu! All in all it was a lovely circle with a lot of thought provocation and ideas. The most amazing part of the circles is the conversations that happen around and about the topic – I always learn something new – thanks all 🙂

I do think there might be value in writing up our opinions on maturity …



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