Team dynamics are how a group of individuals operate and interact together; they are about personalities and how we communicate.

Good team dynamics are part of what can make a team successful while also providing a more enjoyable and efficient work environment. Many factors influence team dynamics, but I want to focus on communication, relationships, and criticism.

Communication and Commitment

The main pillar of team dynamics is strong, open communication. This key to success provides the network for co-workers to exchange information. A team is most effective when each member understands the individual personalities within the team, since personality dictates how we best understand each other. When personalities “click” the team will have an easier time communicating; accelerating the growth of team bonds.

Maximizing the efficiency of communication is easier than ever. Teams can connect via TFS/VSTS Team Room and Slack, or by using Skype or Google Hangouts when more attention is required. These tools are invaluable to stay informed, especially when you are collaborating with remote teammates.

For a team to be successful, all members must be committed. The agile practice of Roles and Responsibilities is a fantastic way for a team to set expectations and hold each other accountable. This clarification of responsibilities increases the efficiency of communication and alleviates role confusion.

Relationships Matter

A strong work culture where hiring is based on company values contributes to bringing together compatible personalities, but not everyone is going to mesh perfectly all of the time. It is important to build teams that work together well, which is why engagement between team members is crucial.

These are the people you work with every day who are going to be in the trenches with you. You will depend on them when things get tough. It is worth spending time getting to know your teammates as it builds camaraderie, boosts morale, and improves communication.

I highly recommend spending time together outside of work. It doesn’t have to be a regular event. We all have families and busy lives, but forging those strong relationships helps the team to work together toward the same goal and prevents “siloing.” Go for a walk to grab a coffee and have a nice chat, or do a team lunch. These are quick easy ways to get to know one another and maintain those bonds. Remember to celebrate victories together as well. A night out with your team can create good memories. 

Open Criticism

One of my teammates likes to use the phrase “take the emotion out of it.” This applies to all aspects of the project and personal growth. As individuals we become attached to our ideas, way of doing things, and as developers, our code. It becomes important for the team to address any issues early; do not be afraid of change but rather embrace it. You can’t know what works until you try it.

When running an agile project you have sprint and project retrospectives to review: what to start, stop, and keep doing. It is also important that as a team you have a retro and provide feedback on all members of the team. This allows everyone to know what they are doing well or where they have opportunities for improvement and growth. Knowledge is power. This open feedback is not only a great tool, but can be eye-opening and very rewarding.


How do you establish good team dynamics? Set expectations, build relationships, give continuous open feedback, and look forward to a return on investment with an increase in your team's performance!

© 2022, Justin Weyenberg