5 Keys to Building an Effective Agile Group

Agile teams as a paradigm shift

The introduction of agile team working has been a major development in software and system engineering, challenging the traditional ‘waterfall’ approaches used in many corporate settings. A recent survey conducted by HP revealed that the majority of over 600 development and IT professionals prefer agile methodologies. Furthermore, 63% of those surveyed reported that their organisation was either entirely ‘agile’ or was making strides towards this goal.

It is essential for senior management to demonstrate their commitment to an agile way of working, as well as ensuring their development teams have the right knowledge and attitude, in order to create a high-performing team. For a team to achieve its full potential, both elements must be in place. Business leaders must take the initiative to educate and guide their teams in adopting an agile mindset in order to deliver continued business value.

Despite the fact that 80% of software companies are using agile development, it does not guarantee success. So, how can businesses create truly exceptional agile teams that can do more, faster and better? The following are the top five traits of a high-performing agile team.

1. Interaction

When it comes to attaining efficiency as an agile team, clear and consistent communication is one of the most crucial elements. Successful teams often take the time to assess how they can enhance their communication with each other and then implement the required adjustments.

It is essential that there is a good level of communication between all stakeholders, both within the teams and between teams and upper management. Managers must be adept at providing feedback, while team members should feel that they are able to express their opinions on the progress of projects to senior staff without the fear of any kind of repercussions. It is imperative that everyone involved has a comprehensive understanding of the objectives and outcomes that are desired. In other words, it is essential for the successful operation of an agile team that there is open dialogue about both the technical solutions and the overall objectives.

2. Working Together

Successful collaboration is vital for an agile team to be effective. Recent research has revealed that 54% of businesses that have implemented agile practices believe that it has resulted in enhanced cooperation across different departments that were previously isolated. As opposed to conventional working models, where a team works towards a given target in accordance with a predetermined task, agile teams tend to operate in short bursts, referred to as “sprints”. This necessitates increased communication amongst various teams and external business partners.

In order to guarantee that all members of the team are working towards the same goal, it is essential that agile teams have access to regular feedback and the flexibility to make fast alterations. Agile teams recognise that projects cannot be transferred from one team to another, but instead comprehend that everything is interconnected and that it is the team as a whole that is responsible for resolving the programme, not just the individuals engaged in it.

3. It Is Capable of Self-Management and Independence.

It is only possible for an agile team to achieve great things if they are able to work autonomously. Without a great deal of guidance from leadership, teams need to be given the freedom to organise their own meetings, as well as any relevant interactions with external partners or stakeholders.

The more autonomy a group has, the more consistent their output will be and the more benefit it will bring to the organisation. Agile teams that are able to operate independently, without the need for a traditional project manager, can plan their own sprints and manage their own tasks, but they still require access to the necessary tools to facilitate this.

4. Focused on Metrics

Agile teams must be results-oriented, and there are a plethora of analytical resources available to facilitate this. It can be difficult to assess the productivity of an agile team and to pinpoint any areas that may require improvement. Keeping track of relevant agile metrics can help teams to monitor their progress, analyse how they are working together, and make the necessary adjustments. Atlassian have outlined some of the key indicators that agile teams should be monitoring in the below article.

  • Tempo workout
  • Insane and final burnout
  • Group speed
  • Indicators of Quality Assurance and Control
  • Diagrams of cumulative flows
  • Frequency of Discharge
  • Swiftness of Distribution

All of these indicators for agile development may shed light on a team’s progress and give them something concrete to aim towards.

5. Multi-Functional

Team members from a variety of departments across an organisation can be brought together to form a cross-functional team, as highlighted by Inc. These teams are typically empowered to make decisions with regards to all aspects of the project, allowing them to have complete autonomy over the project.

The success of a cross-functional, agile team is dependent upon its members having a combination of both shared and complementary abilities. To avoid the need for external resources, team members can help each other with particular components or the overall project. This means that workloads are spread more evenly, and team members are likely to appreciate and value the contributions of their colleagues while working in a cross-functional team. Companies that do not encourage their employees to collaborate across departments may experience a decrease in both productivity and motivation, referred to as “agile sprint fatigue”.

In order to successfully transition your workforce to adopt and apply agile methods, it is essential that there is a substantial shift in attitude from both team members and management. Without their full commitment, an agile team is likely to fail to meet desired outcomes. It is important to remember that a successful team requires members with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and while it may take a while to set up an agile team, its performance should increase over time.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs