Any team must have a shared understanding – of the task, the team, and the process – in order to succeed. While many activities and ideas in Agile methodologies focus on increasing the shared understanding of teams, miscommunication still happens at many levels and between many different people and may cause large delays or expensive restarts of (parts of) a project. Through a literature study and expert validation, I have developed a questionnaire to measure some aspects of shared understanding. By having teams fill in this questionnaire, I attempt to measure how the team thinks its shared understanding is, as well as how good it actually is. Through qualitative analysis, I attempt to improve the questionnaire, while at the same time giving teams more insight into their behavior. Although actual shared understanding is hard to measure, any insights we gain surrounding the concept can be used to improve the way teams work.
As the saying goes: teamwork makes the dream work. Working in teams can be particularly challenging, but it allows us to create much better software, in a much shorter time than we could do alone. As an information scientist, I love to understand tech and software better, but the same goes for people, organizations, and teams. This research allows me to combine all of these topics and gain knowledge about all of them simultaneously. My aim is to build a tool that teams can use autonomously to gain insights into their work, allowing them to improve themselves. Enabling others to develop to the best of their abilities is what I’m passionate about, and this research embodies that.