Agile Team Launch In Nonprofits

Launching Agile teams is one of the many things for which the Agile Methodology is known best. The beauty of forming an Agile team that can work around any request lies behind team bonding, agreements, shared values, a common goal, and the empowerment that allows these teams to work towards being self-organizing and high performing. However, what happens when members of the initiative don’t get along? How about dealing with limiting resources, and volunteering versus paid employees mindset. This meetup is all about showing the online Agile community the experience Rick Regueira and Reynaldo Ruiz had when working with a nonprofit as part of Transformation Experts.



1. What’s different when working with a nonprofit organization?


One of the most important aspects of an Agile team launching is to understand the company’s workflow. For an Agile coach, Scrum Master, or Product Owner it is key to understand who are the essential players that surround the product or service, of course, includes the people on the “business side”. Why is this so important? So they can strategize as a team to build relationships and provide insights that can benefit the organization. In nonprofits, however, there are different aspects to keep in mind apart from understanding the organization workflow, these are:

  • Limiting resources

  • Big volunteer numbers

  • Soliciting resources

  • Sponsorship

  • Taxes exception

  • Making an impact

In addition, one key aspect highlighted from the audience is the importance of making an impact within the community, organization, or the group/ sector to which this nonprofit is addressing all its efforts. Contrary to a profit organization where the focus is “the Benjamins”. On the other hand, the main goal of the nonprofit team, from the product or service standpoint, to make a significant impact it is what drives volunteers to complete the work.


2. Addressing the Elephant in The Room


An Agile team needs to make sure to work hard and smart to succeed. This is where Agile best practices join the room. Agile coaches Rick Regueira and Reynaldo Ruiz knew there were team issues that will block the team’s performance in the long run. What did they do about it? They created a safe and empathic environment in which everyone felt at ease to share their concerns. Then, they prioritized a retrospective event right from the start. This would give team members an opportunity to unpack some of their baggage while also allowing room for everyone, including the Agile coaches, to learn something in the process.


This is why it is so important to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Putting in practice from the beginning the pillars of a healthy team culture that would lead them towards high performance in due time. In this case, healthy conflict resolution and continuous learning are both fundamental to move forward and reach the team goals.


Interested in understanding the details of this 2-day Agile team lunch initiative? How did the retrospective go at the end of the day? Watch the full meeting by clicking on the link below.

Key topics:

  • What’s different when working with a nonprofit organization?

  • Housekeeping

  • Retrospective

  • Working Agreements

  • ELMO



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