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How To Maximize The Efforts Of Your Agile Team

According to agile visionaries, a robust, agile team embodies “we” rather than “I” and that teamwork is crucial to delivering great software. Actually, it’s more rewarding to share the adventure of building something which really matters with engaged teammates.

Supposing your organization has embraced an agile methodology and you’re disappointed by failure, then it is time to look into it critically. Maybe the problem is not agile, but it is your management style.

To most managers, agile is like a new, radical form of leadership. Agile focuses on the team collaboration, autonomy, and independence, instead of command-and-control. For many organizations such as established enterprises with managers, it’s an entirely different mindset for them.

You will only help your team succeed by dismissing all that you believe you know about management and having trust on your team to oversee that from within. Therefore, here are ways on how to make the best of your agile team;

Maximize the efforts of the Agile team

Start with Proper Planning

Develop a path that will guide you to your ultimate aim. The actions that your team will take together with your short-term goals should be targeted on attaining that end goal. Ensure you discuss the individual steps that will go into achieving what you have set.

Try anticipating the problems that may arise in the process and how the team may circumvent these to maintain a steady momentum. You may not plan for everything, but a plan will provide you with a base to work from including confidence to proceed.

You can also optimize the development process by keeping an eye on the code quality using an effective tool. This will allow you to monitor errors, metrics, and logs easily for effective planning.

Build Team Trust

A manager is a liaison between senior management and his team. Hence, it’s vital to develop mutually beneficial relationships both upstream and downstream. If the relationship is to flourish, you have to make sure you meet each sides needs.

Also, you have to develop a personal connection with every stakeholder to ensure that every side feels taken care of, heard and respected.

Optimize Your Communication

The way you communicate with your team has a considerable impact on performance.

Poor communication will slow down your workflow, hurt your productivity, limit your success and create misunderstandings. On the other hand, communicating clearly will boost the richness of your conversations significantly and your ability to tackle the intricate tasks.

Face-to-face conversation is one of the better ways to convey information, unless in projects where you are dealing remote team members. Try to group your team in one location and encourage them to be sincere with their criticism and opinions. Ask them questions which will illuminate problems, goals, and progress, and give support via the team atmosphere.

Eliminate Hindrances

Some roadblocks and distractions may keep your team from attaining success. Interruptions can drain your team’s ability to focus and energy levels. Therefore, you have to mitigate those threats to ensure your team stays productive.

The most common hindrances that may try to interrupt your flow can include;

  • Micromanaging (allow the team to arrange themselves and have confidence in them to get the job done)
  • Team members trying to multitask (ensure you focus on one project or goal at a time)
  • Busy work and annoying distractors (Try your level best to stop these and target them away from the team)

Improve The Work Environment

You will get a lot of benefits by having the team in one location. Most importantly, it’s easier to track their time and attendance this way using tools such as Clockspot’s timesheets.

Also, having a perfect work atmosphere is appropriate to promoting success. Aim at optimizing your team’s workspace for productivity. It will vary based on the team’s specific project and goals that you are working on.

Therefore, ensure you are keen on feedback to enable you to learn how to organize things around your team’s needs. If you are in need of additional cash to achieve a particular request for example for essential piece furniture, remember there are available websites which may help you too.

Educate Your Team

Educate the management about the benefits of agile, both for internal team dynamics and for outcomes is it is unclear to them. You may opt to hire either a scrum trainer/coach or an agile coach or suggest readings.

Also, you may bring execs and speakers from various organizations to present the case studies which will demonstrate the positive result this transformation has on those companies that are similar to yours.

Present agile as an option and ensure you illustrated definitively how it could make the organization better, but don’t make it a demand. The choice to move towards that direction should just come naturally.

Embrace Flexibility

Remember that staying flexible is vital. Rigidity will limit your capability to respond to change and also you cannot plan for each occurrence. Ensure you are always in touch with those things that will maintain your digital creative juice running.

Keep your imaginations in the right direction with things including new tech accessories like Google Daydream. Be alert and cheer up your development team to switch things up when one setup or approach is not attaining the desired impact.

See Both Sides

For you to get the best sense of what is driving demands, obstacles, and conflict from each side, ask them what they value. It’s evident that a stakeholder’s first or second answer is not going to be sincere, or the fear of losing perceived power is at the center of the issues.

All these capabilities can be used both upstream and upstream. The strategy is to modify your language to suit the audience you are speaking to, whether that’s your executive management or your development teams.

The Takeaway!

Agile is a technique, a mindset, and to others, it is almost as a religion. Actually, agile began with a “Manifesto” and its reliance on jargons, sprints, timeboxing, and story mapping, which makes it sound completely mystical on the outside.

Help your agile team to succeed by letting go of your entire management grip and letting your team deal with it from within. It means educating yourself as the manager about the intentions behind agile, including its practice, benefits to the teams, and craft of software development and its significance to the overall business.

This is a guest post by Ashley Lipman.  

Dan Smiljanić

Dan is a practitioner of project management and our resident geek. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire. When Dan not writing code, you will probably find him cycling and hiking with friends.

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