Newton’s Third law of motion, “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction…” is a powerful standard in analyzing team dynamics. I have been leading agile teams for over five years. When I am asked to lead a new team I begin by looking for reactions that are disproportionate. While this may seem like a strange place to focus this is a simple way to identify significant areas of improvement.
Time and time again, I have uncovered issues that have been ignored and/or hidden by exploring “over reactions”. They are indicators that there is more to the story. For example, one of teams that I was leading was very frustrated with how much time we were spending estimating stories. Their frustration eventually culminated in some of the team members refusing to participate in team estimation meetings. As you can imagine this created significant tension between the developers and the business team.