Agile not only transform an organization’s approach to software development, but also enterprise departmental functions, project management practices, and product development. To survive an ever-changing environment, creating more innovative, cross-functional, and multidisciplinary teams that generate growth and effective skill sets has become important across the entire organization. Taking an Agile approach can boost self-organization and also increase the effectiveness of employee engagement among business teams.
Becoming a High-Performance Team
Embracing agile principles and sustain the efficiency increases the effectiveness of the Team. The following eight practices help a team become more effective.
- Iterative planning: Planning happens continuously through a process of on-going inspection and adaptation. This enables the direction of the project to change and evolve as understanding grows and further details of requirements emerge, as well as in response to current market conditions, stakeholder input, and user feedback.
- Leadership: Agile teams should have regular interactions with the program sponsors or leadership and have a common understanding of project goals. Teams should understand their role in addressing the business objectives, and the entire team should speak with one-voice when communicating with stakeholders.
- Demonstrations, retrospectives and stand-ups: Providing team members and the wider stakeholder group with the chance to regularly assess project progress, demonstrations, retrospectives, and stand-ups. These occur at the end of every sprint and involve both the core project team and those stakeholders that may not be directly involved. These occur daily throughout the sprint and allow team members to share what they achieved the previous day, what they’re going to work on next and any blockers they may be facing, to help maintain project momentum and foster high levels of visibility.
- User stories: User stories do align closely with agile’s core principles and can help maximize the value being delivered through your projects. This not only helps provide clarity to the agile team on the requirements, but also aids them in estimating their work properly. This ensures that requirements are expressed with direct reference to the user needs that are being fulfilled, and also makes them ideal for communicating these requirements to all relevant project stakeholders in a format that’s clear and easy-to-understand.
- Communication and collaboration: Encouraging effective collaboration will provide you with the insight needed to keep activity aligned with your strategic goals and ensure you’re addressing real-world requirements and use contexts. It’s important therefore to look at how well your team communicates and works together currently, and put in place any training activities to ensure they have both the understanding and skills needed to manage these activities. Moreover, tools such as instant messaging systems and project management solutions can also support productive communication.
- Face to face information: Whether working through a complex problem or reporting on the day’s accomplishments at a daily meeting, Agile team members prefer face to face communication. Information lost in a full email box or voice message queue slows or blocks progress. The daily meeting is one time the entire team connects to find out if there are any issues that could cause delays. Admitting there’s a hang-up and trusting teammates to rally to the cause does not come easily to some professionals. Direct conversation opens channels and builds trust, making the Agile method sustainable.
- Estimation and prioritization: Agile promotes a range of techniques to help safeguard the accuracy of estimates, such as planning poker and affinity estimation. Once estimated, you’ll also want to prioritize your stories according to business value. And this value will depend on your specific goals and objectives and choose to prioritize in line with Agile’s iterative process and review your prioritized list as your project progresses.
- Positive and Energizing Work Culture: Team members that trust others are open-minded to feedback and suggestions. Team should be cheerful and encourage others to express and articulate new ideas. These attributes can be spread among team members through activities, celebrating small achievements, and constant inspiration from leadership.
Business Agility is most effective when organizations apply Agile methods regardless of how large or complex the project. Successful practices include keeping teams small, sticking to short iterations, getting rapid feedback from customers, setting value-based business priorities and engaging users in refining requirements. It is the core values and guiding principles for how people work together and effective in a Team. As Agile teams come together in organizations large and small, they will be better positioned for success if they make these as Agile best practices.