When working on something great, a great team is everything. People often ask about key factors of building a solid agile team, and its recipe isn’t as challenging and complex as many think. It’s all about sharing culture when success gained by the whole team is much more important than the exceptional profits of individuals.
What’s an Agile team?
The notions of Agile and Team just can’t live without each other, as all Agile frameworks are based on collaboration and collective goals. So, a good agile team should be self-organized, cross-functional, and shared responsibility.
The main thing here is not only to adopt Agile frameworks but also to develop an Agile mindset. As the guru of Agile software Atlassian believes, “ teamwork is essential to delivering great software and that great agile teams embody We rather than I.”
So, having good vibes while working is not sufficient to reach these team values. People in the team can be friends but still, wait for the next tasks from their bosses. Employees are self-organized when they can analyze work: realize why they do several tasks and see the endpoint of the work, understand what results they could get, and how to improve bad points.
When employees have mutual responsibility, they have more motivation to complete tasks and strive to do it collaboratively. When developers, product owners, users, and executives cooperate, the company releases its products faster and without missing deadlines. So everyone in the team should know what to do and why do it by themselves, and without this factor, any Agile approach just won’t work.
How Building an Agile Team Can Help to Improve Productivity of Your IT department?
Meeting after meeting is nothing but a new cliche in today’s business environment, and if you have such practice in your company, it’s time to stop and think about the effectiveness of project management. Maybe there are ways of better tracking projects without endless meetups, without missing deadlines and working late hours to improve the situation?
Agile working culture promotes focusing on performance and quality of the end product over strict processes according to plan.
Agile does not just generalize best practices of successful software development into a set of magic beans, but offers a different concept of the mindset, focused primarily on the effectiveness and value of what we do. The core Agile principles, described in the Agile manifesto are also not so rebel as people often think:
- People and their interactions over processes and tools.
- Working product over comprehensive documentation.
- Cooperation with the customer over negotiating the terms of the contract.
- Being ready to change over following the original plan.
We often focus on making everything perfect rather than getting things done quickly, testing, getting feedback, and doing it again. So today Agile methodologies are perhaps the only way to improve the productivity of every team and of the whole organization, to reduce the time of product release and to increase its quality.
The Main Steps on Building Professional Agile Team
Agile approach is highly dependent on personal qualities and the level of communication in the team. In a successful Agile team, we should pay attention not only to professional qualities, but also to soft skills. So, to become a professional agile team, follow these steps:
Introducing Agile approach
Explain the value of Agile to the whole team, introduce its core principles and main roles, and remove the old team-building mindset. To encourage the adoption of Agile in the team, demonstrate the value this methodology can provide and how it is different from your current working approach.
Start building an Agile environment by planning the backlog of your product and dividing it into sprints. By this, your team will have a clear understanding of all working processes, future goals, and how to reach them step-by-step. Involve everyone in the planning process to let them get familiar with the culture of mutual responsibility.
Set the team roles
Decide on product owner and project managers for each sprint. It’s a good idea to give the team a test project to let them get used to the new methodology and determine project roles.
Use daily standups
It’s essential to keep everyone informed about the project, what steps are already done, and what are the plans for today. Don’t focus on live meetings, you can use special tools like Slack for this.
Integrate Agile-based software for project management
To implement all these steps painlessly, it’s easier to use a special toolset that helps your team cope with new methodology and working approach. A good agile software centralizes all agile processes and information. With it, you’ll be able to develop product backlog, plan and track sprints and smaller tasks and communicate to keep everyone informed about what’s going on now.
How to manage Agile team with Atlassian tools
At Polontech, we introduce the combination of Atlassian products to make you an Agile champion:
- Create a new infrastructure based on Jira Software, Bitbucket, and Bamboo.
- Migrate your data and teams to new software.
- Customize new tools according to your requirements and business goals.
- Integrate tools to work seamlessly with each other and current software and create one business environment.
In the end, you get a cost-efficient Agile software system that encourages team collaboration and continuous improvement of mindset.
Adopting Agile is one of the simplest and yet effective ways to boost your productivity. Fostering collaboration and encouraging the culture of mutual responsibility changes the team’s working approach completely, but it drives your company to greater results, reducing risks of downtime, a better understanding of customer needs, and easy running of the company.
Applying Agile methodology to all projects, especially for non-software development, will bring additional benefits to your business. It might be challenging to switch the team to a completely different framework, but having a secret agile software set makes it smooth and painless.
So, Agile should be considered not just as a trend, but as inevitable progress.