Succeeding with multicultural Scrum teams

Succeeding with multicultural Scrum Teams


More and more companies are moving to Agile methodologies to deliver their projects and products more effectively, cheaper and with quicker turnaround period. The Agile philosophy ensures that clients and customers are part of the Agile teams all the way and are gaining the same benefits. The most commonly adopted Agile methodology is Scrum. There is no denying that Scrum has revolutionised the way projects are delivered. However, when it comes to implementing Agile in a multinational multicultural team, organisations have faced multiple issues and setbacks. One of the key reasons is that agile is experienced and interpreted differently by different national cultures. For example,expecting all members of the team to speak up in daily scrums and take the tasks yourself is natural to an American or a Dutch, but comes across as a new way of working for most Indians. Every Scrum implementation is culture-specific and to have an effective set up, teams need to know how to turn these differences into strengths rather than a source of misunderstandings and frustrations. Our program is designed to create a hybrid approach to Scrum with the local country culture at its centre, so the set up works as planned. This program is specifically aimed at Scrum adoptions but can be catered to other Agile frameworks.


This program is designed for international organisations, which are adopting or have already adopted the Scrum methodology, and are facing cultural issues among a multicultural scrum team, during work set up and execution. The ideal moment to execute this program is at the beginning of the Scrum adoption process.


  • Improve the execution and implementation of your current Scrum teams
  • Improve communication among your culturally diverse Scrum team
  • Enhance the success rate of multicultural and virtual Scrum teams
  • Gain skills in intercultural management
  • Cost savings by improving efficiency, effectiveness. communications and relations


This learning program combines theory, simulations, exercises and hands-on practice from your environment to ensure that the learnings can be applied directly to the ongoing and future Scrum adoptions. The key intended learnings from this program are

  • Introduction to national cultural differences through Hofstede 6-D Model
  • What is Agile philosophy in an international context
  • How to set up and manage culturally diverse Scrum teams
  • How to manage the challenges of the virtual environment on the Scrum teams
  • How to set up culturally adapted scrum working practices for your environment


This is a 20 hours training program spread over 6 weeks. It consists of two full-day workshops, a preworkshop questionnaire, an assignment, and a follow-up. Participants are introduced to a fictitious project, based on experience, at the start which goes through all project phases using the Scrum methodology. This approach lets the participants relate the theory to the practical aspects, which further helps in retaining the learnings from the program.


The pre-course questionnaire is sent to all participants 2 weeks before the first workshop. This questionnaire collects the participant profiles, the current set up and issues within the teams.


Workshop 1 is a full-day workshop, held by two facilitators with Dutch and Indian background, with all participants in person in one of the country locations. All participants from both countries are present in the workshop to ensure maximum learning with shared team experience. This workshop introduces the participants to Hofstede’s 6-D model of National Cultures, Agile theory in the international context, and the dummy project. Participants plan and run the project using their current Agile knowledge and experience. Facilitators use various exercises and simulations to highlight the common mistakes and misunderstandings coming out due to cultural differences between the involved countries


After workshop 1, participants are given the assignment to complete before workshop 2. The purpose of the assignment is for participants to put the learnings and key insights from workshop 1 into their ongoing projects to find their issues caused by cultural differences. This is used as an input towards workshop 2.


Workshop 2 is held 2 weeks after workshop 1. This is also a full-day workshop, held by two facilitators with Dutch and Indian background, with all participants in person in the 2nd country location (preferred). Facilitators create the exercises and simulations to let the participants go deeper into the practical implications of the cultural differences on Scrum adoptions and the possible solutions to overcome their issues. The outcome of the workshop is a set of key solutions and processes that the participants implement in their ongoing and future Scrum adoptions.


This is a virtual follow up meeting with all participants and facilitators. Participants get the opportunity to discuss the success and challenges of new learnings and solutions. The next steps are planned at this meeting.


Each session will be for 16 participants max. The location will be organised by the client.


Philip Lafeber has lived and worked internationally his whole life. He has worked in the areas of risk management solutions in management, project management, analysis and consulting roles. He is certified in PRINCE II, ISO31000 and as Scrum Product Owner. As a partner of Hofstede Insights Philip professionally studies intercultural developments. He also likes to help ex-pats and refugees to find a new life in the Netherlands. His international network of friends continuously brings new insights and he sometimes describes news facts that involve multiple countries on LinkedIn.

Navkaran Singh is a certified Intercultural Trainer & Consultant, specialising in Intercultural training & Consultancy for the US, European and Indian markets. He has over 10 years of experience working as a Global Transformation Manager. His expertise lies in assessing culturally diverse teams and set-ups in an organisation and delivering training programs to improve workforce effectiveness. He has successfully delivered multiple projects spanning across the US, Europe & India. Main industries include IT, Telecoms, Digital Marketing, Pharmaceutical, Insurance & Aviation. He is a certified member of Hofstede Insights, a highly selective worldwide network of Intercultural Management Consultants

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