What José Mourinho can teach us about Team Building

Agile Connect Scrum Alliance


Session Type:

  • Talk (45 minutes).

Session Track:

  • Coaching & Facilitation.

Session Language:

  • English.

Session Level:

  • Conscious (Ha) Practitioners.

Session Summary:

Scrum relies on building self-organizing teams. We can learn how to grow them from sports, and especially from European football’s most successful coach.

Session Abstract:

In this talk, world-famous Portuguese football head coach, Jose Mourinho’s theory of “guided discovery” for building winning teams is raided as a source of ideas for the coaching of Scrum teams, and then related to the work of leading thinkers on Scrum Mastery such as Geoff Watts and the Scrum patterns group (which is led by Jeff Sutherland and James O. Coplien).

A central idea of Mourinho’s is that a group of individuals is just that, and only genuinely become a team when seduced by a common goal. This has implications beyond the Scrum Master role…

Learning Objectives:

Agile coaching is in its infancy, but can draw important lessons from areas which have a longer history. Sports coaching is a case in point. In this session the key learning objectives are that:

  • Coaching philosophies founded on team-building perhaps are more fruitful source of lessons than many other kinds (e.g., life-coaching).
  • Servant leadership can be demonstrated as important for team-building even in organizations considered to have autocratic structures (like football clubs).
  • Team-building is not the sole responsibility of the Scrum Master, being a team-player is an individual skill that can be learned.