Agile methodology is commonly used in project management as it is favored for its speed and flexibility. To implement agile in the project, you need a robust multifunctional team. An agile team consists of a group of people with all the necessary abilities to work, test, and develop the project. The team must be well equipped with agile practices to deliver the product at a rapid pace. The reason why consultants choose an agile framework for projects are :
1) They are more productive
2) It results in creating a better quality output
3) It is more aligned with client’s goals and expectations
Unlike traditional project management methods, agile allows the team to plan continuously throughout the project. This makes it easier for adjustments and changes when required. An agile team is highly recommended for firms that work in a dynamic environment and want to meet tight project deadlines. Especially in the tech industry, agile methods and teams are highly preferred for its innovative and adaptable conditions.
Building an agile team:
An ideal agile team consists of 3 to 10 highly skilled individuals willing to work together in close proximity until the project ends. These individuals must have different functional expertise such as designers, programmers, analysts, and testers. The team must be disciplined and ready to share failure and success events occuring over the course of the project.
The team should strictly follow the agile manifesto consisting of 12 agile principles and 4 values during the project.
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How agile team works?
Agile requires to breakdown the project into smaller goals. The team members reach these smaller goals one after another to reach the overall success of the project. There are 2 ways to do agile projects/
The above methods both help to better visualize current, overdue, and completed tasks. There are also some characteristics of agile workflow that need to be followed by the agile team, those ar the following:
- a) Daily meeting:
A regular meeting must be organized by the team to discuss what work has been done, what tasks they are working on, and clarify doubts if any.
- b) Shorter goals:
As mentioned earlier, agile methods require to breakdown the project into smaller goals. These goals are completed over a shorter period and reviewed later for results. If the goals are changed, the changed should be shared during the daily meeting.
- c) Regular evaluation:
Agile teams should maintain consistency and work quality using peer evaluation and management feedbacks. Assessments are organized before and after completing the short goals.
Projects with shorter goals and tight schedules, make the most of this methodology because it increases coordination among the team. Roles among team members should be clear enough to know what they must do next. At the same time, being flexible enough to allow team members to make crucial decisions and exceed expectations.
Agile methodology with Scrum framework:
When agile team follows a scrum framework, they are more result-oriented. The ideal team size is 5 to 6 members. An agile team following scrum has 3 roles to assign in its project.
1) The project owner:
The project owner is like the captain of the ship. It is often an executive from the organization or one of the project stakeholders. The owner responsibility is to create a vision for the project and lead the team in the right direction to achieve long term goals. The project owner will be in direct communication with the team, and will inform them of any significant developments regarding the project.
2) Scrum masters:
They are like the first mate to the captain in the project. The scrum master role is similar to a project manager. They monitor the overall process, provide feedback, and mentor the team members when necessary. Scrum masters take care of day to day functions in relation to the project, update scrum boards and project targets.
3) Team members:
They are the project makers at front and back end. The team’s job is to leverage their skills to complete the tasks and goals they have been given while respecting the deadlines.
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How to be an efficient agile team?
It is the team’s responsibility to follow the agile manifesto. The values and principles of agile will lead to a sustainable outcome. There are also other practices that help the agile team be highly efficient such as:
- Sharing experiences and knowledge:
Since agile is technology-oriented, there are new tools to learn: team members should share their expertise whenever they can to speed up its delivery. Also, this will help to build active collaboration and trust among the members. Participating actively in project demonstrations, showcasing agile practices will help in growing team knowledge quicker.
- Organizational change management:
When the organizations are going through transformacional changes, employees need to contribute and have a positive attitude throughout the change. Agile teams should react and modify their plan accordingly. Changes need to be passed to the stakeholders to improve collaboration and help them understand the culture and overall organization.
- Positive work culture among the team:
Team members should trust each other, be open-minded as this will help them articulate new ideas to take the project to the next level. Celebrating achievements and friendly conversations at work will reduce conflicts and problems among team members. Also, a culture alignement between shareholders and team members is an important success driver.
- Self-organizing teams:
To execute the work, teams must assign tasks between members. Breaking down the work as such and iterating will help proceed to the next short-term goal and is essential. The team is entrusted to make appropriate decisions when required. For this to work, each team member must be confident and ready to push themselves further through difficult steps that arise in the project.
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In the end, people in your team matter as much as your project structure and plan. It is essential to give team members the role they excel at and hold them responsible for reaching their goals. This will help deliver the best possible output for a project and the team will incrementally improve its performance.
For a team to be efficient, it is crucial to solve interpersonal or cultural issues in the group. Make the agile team train on methodologies like scrum and Kanban. Following agile manifesto, like principles and values are useful to stay aligned with agile best practices.