The Surprising Similarities of Sport Teams and Agile Teams

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jun 7, 2023
Updated on
Jun 7, 2023
Table of Content


In the world of software development, the Agile and Scrum methodologies have revolutionized the way teams collaborate and deliver projects. But have you ever thought about the similarities between managing a sport team and a Scrum team? Both scenarios involve a group of individuals working towards a common goal, and surprisingly, there are several parallels to explore. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the similarities between managing a sport team and a Scrum team, shedding light on the shared principles that drive success.

What is an Agile Team?

Before we dive into the similarities, let's briefly understand what an Agile team is. An Agile team is a cross-functional group of individuals who work together to deliver high-quality software in an iterative and incremental manner. These teams follow the Agile principles and often adopt the Scrum framework, which emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability.

How is an Agile Team Similar to a Sport Team?

When we look closely, we can find intriguing parallels between managing an Agile team and leading a sport team, despite the apparent differences in their domains.

Common Goal: Just like a sport team aims to win matches and championships, an Agile team is focused on delivering valuable software to meet the needs of their stakeholders. Both teams work together, leveraging their individual strengths, to achieve a shared objective.

Cross-functional Expertise: In sports, each team member possesses unique skills and expertise, such as a striker's goal-scoring abilities or a goalkeeper's exceptional reflexes. Similarly, an Agile team consists of members with diverse skill sets, such as developers, testers, designers, and product owners, who contribute their expertise to drive the project forward.

Collaboration: Successful sports teams thrive on collaboration and effective communication. Similarly, Agile teams rely on close collaboration among team members, fostering continuous interaction, transparency, and feedback exchange. Just as a basketball team passes the ball to find the open player for a shot, an Agile team collaborates to share knowledge and maximize efficiency.

Iterative Improvement: Sport teams continuously refine their strategies and tactics through practice, analysis, and feedback from coaches. Similarly, Agile teams embrace iterative improvement, using retrospectives to reflect on their processes, identify areas for growth, and implement changes to enhance their productivity and product quality.

How is Managing a Sport Team Similar to Managing an Agile Team?

The art of managing a sport team and an Agile team shares striking similarities, highlighting the underlying principles that drive both to success.

Leadership and Guidance: Both sport teams and Agile teams require effective management to guide them towards success. Just as a coach provides guidance to a sport team, an Agile team benefits from a Scrum Master or Agile coach who facilitates the team's progress, removes impediments, and promotes an environment conducive to collaboration and self-organization.

Motivation and Inspiration: A sport team's success often hinges on the motivation and inspiration provided by their coach. Similarly, managing an Agile team involves motivating team members, encouraging autonomy, and fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered to contribute their best.

Adapting to Change: In sports, teams must adapt their game plan based on the opponent's strategies or changing circumstances. Similarly, managing an Agile team necessitates the ability to adapt to changing requirements, market conditions, and customer feedback. Both scenarios require flexibility and the ability to pivot when necessary.


While managing a sport team and an Agile team may seem like different realms, the similarities are undeniable. Both scenarios require a shared goal, cross-functional expertise, collaboration, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Just as a sport team relies on effective leadership, motivation, and adaptability, an Agile team flourishes under the guidance of a capable Scrum Master or Agile coach. By recognizing and embracing these similarities, we can gain valuable insights and apply successful strategies from the world of sports to the realm of Agile and Scrum. So, whether you're managing a

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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