The Near-Perfect Making of an Agile Team The recipe to help make it happen

Written by Luke Pivac

Agile is the most effective and adaptable project methodology to manage constant change. This is because it consists of cross-functional teams working collaboratively in creative and complex environments. Teamwork is essential to delivering great digital products. This collaborative team environment focuses on a “we” rather than an “I” mindset. There is nothing more rewarding than building software that really matters with other like-minded team mates.

What makes the near perfect team?

Agile is a framework that consists of some lightweight criteria which, when applied, enables you to track progress overtime. If followed correctly, your team will start at a certain point and improve significantly overtime. If you follow these key strategies, you can help make your awesome team into a near perfect one.

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Here are six tips to help get you on your way.

1. Ability to respond to change

Projects would be much easier if you could set everything up first and not have to change anything, right? But, as you already know, that’s just how project delivery works. The beauty of Agile is its ability to manage change. Change is inevitable. The near perfect agile team must have the ability to respond to those changes, rather than trying to stay committed to a plan. The best teams constantly re-evaluate their priorities and shift their resources accordingly.

2. Results-focused team

Agile sets up a robust list of ceremonies all aimed to provide an output in a regular time-boxed manner. Using the principles of adaptation, inspection and transparency, a good agile development team will always have a results-driven mindset; that output is value driven, driven by meaningful results. Using the sprint backlog ensures the team stay focused on those results.

3. Team players that are team players!

Using Agile, the development team embraces the agile values of openness, collaboration, continuous improvement. And that all boils down to collaboration. No other framework stipulates that.

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4. Ability to concentrate and see the big picture!

All team players need to have that T-shaped skill set of not only have a specialist area of skill, but a broader knowledge of other skills, and the importance of knowing that working as a team you have more chance of success. Working closely with others, your team, your scrum master and your product owner means you will be ahead of managing risk, and managing change together.

5. Seek feedback and act on it

The Agile framework provides the right lightweight framework to ensure you can inspect and adapt along the way. It also enables you to get feedback from stakeholders and your team each and everyday. The beauty is if you do not embrace these opportunities it will become clear who the team players are, so embrace it. It is fantastic!

6. Ability to trust the team and the process

This is often overlooked because it is a mindset rather than a direct action. However, it is important to embrace Agile with an open mind and in good faith. This framework has years of proven evidence, if you can learn to trust your team and believe in the process, the better off you and your team will be!

Practical Tips

The team player mentality is essential in any successful group, but in Agile teams, the ability to work as a cohesive team is everything. Attitude, accountability, reliability, goal alignment and complementary skill sets are necessary traits possessed by team members, equipping them to handle any challenge. Here are some practical tips to consider to help make your near perfect agile team.

• Be patient: Remember that perfection is a stretch goal. Don’t worry about the hiccups along the way, be patient and you will see and track progress quickly. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!

• Be in the cloud. This facilitates a quick feedback loop every time you release a new version.

• Work on a single product and vision. This allows the team to stay focused.

• Deliver frequently. This lets you receive and react quickly to feedback you get from customers (thanks to being in the cloud).

Does this sound like something you want to find out more about? If so, you can contact me.

Happy to chat about your project. I look forward to hearing from you.