The Team Onion
A model to keep teams small, break down silos and create shared responsibility across team boundaries.
Why use the Team Onion model?
A lightweight yet powerful visualisation tool created to keep teams small while delivering in the context of a larger organisation. It helps to break down silos, surface assumptions, reduce blind spots and build empathy. It facilitates meaningful conversations about the capabilities, time commitment, collaboration and communication patterns needed for teams to be successful.
The Team Onion was first introduced as the Agile Team Onion by Emily Webber on her blog in 2016.
The Team Onion is a three-layer model that helps to visualise the wider team as core, collaborators and supporters. Understanding these layers helps to break down silos, surface assumptions, build empathy and have meaningful conversations about the team.
Who should be using the Team Onion?
The model can be used by: existing teams to inspect and adapt, new teams as part of their initiation or by leaders when creating new teams.
How to create your Team Onion
Create your Team Onion in an in-person or online workshop, supported with asynchronous activities. The model is a simple structure; the power comes from the conversations, collective agreement, shared ownership and follow up actions.
Bring the right people together to build your team onion’s rings; Core, Collaborators and Supporters, then prioritise and take action.
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Tools and templates
Tools and templates, including a Miro board template and introductory google slides.
Tacit is an agile organisational consultancy run by Emily Webber