10 tips for creating more agile teams
Updated 8th August 2017
During the development of an agile team, it is easy to fall prey to potential pitfalls that hamper effectiveness and disrupt cohesiveness. Newly developed agile teams often make mistakes due to lack of support, no coaching, and very little experience.
To keep your team on the right path, follow these 10 top tips on creating more agile teams.
1. Work on team communications
Communication is a fundamental part of a successful business. Face-to-face communication is better than online communication, but some form of communication is definitely a must for a successful team.
Create time for your team to collaborate with one another daily basis and dedicate an online platform to this task. There's a number of growing platforms that can help you out for optimal team communication.
One of the most popular is Slack, but you can also try Glip, Skype, Hangouts, Gotomeeting.
2. Track productivity and time
Agile teams sometimes find it difficult to prioritize improvements. Use time and productivity tracking software like Clockspot to discover your team's strengths, weaknesses, and improve productivity habits for faster, more effective output.
In addition to improving productivity, an online time clock can provide an opportunity to save time on labor by automating payroll and providing detailed reports concerning specific projects at a click of a button.
3. Create a resistance plan
It's not easy switching over to an agile team and some team members might resist change. Make sure management communicates effectively with everyone, providing support where necessary, and asking for member's insight and opinions to develop and build trust. The success of the team is now a bigger priority than individual success.
4. Develop better estimation habits
When a team begins a new project, it's tough to estimate the size and scope of it. This can be very difficult for agile teams when first starting out. To prevent poor estimation habits from developing, it is important to implement effective habits ahead of time.
One of the better ways to maintain your development project is determining initial velocity of the project with weekly sprint meetings.
Having weekly sprint meetings ensures your team gets a good grasp of what they're capable of doing within that timeframe. They will feel more confident when giving estimates and will quickly determine if they can perform a task or complete a project within the requested deadline.
5. Implement the best team structure
As far as agile teams are concerned, the biggest characteristics are being cross functional and stable. To develop a stable team, they must be able to work closely and grow together.
A cross functional team has the skills and ability to move forward with the user story to the right conclusion. With that said, your team should have coders, tech writers, and testers to make it more effective, flexible, and valuable.
6. Foster trust and eliminate fear
Perhaps the worst feeling a person can have is fear. Allowing your team members to feel like they have space to make mistakes is crucial. You need to allow them the opportunity to fail but be there to build and pick them up with support from the whole team.
Nurturing an environment where your team feels scared about making decisions will eventually backfire. Eliminate fear by having an open door policy and optimal communication.
7. Host regular meetings
During the inspect-and-adapt cycle, it's important to host retrospective meetings. These meetings will act as bookends and conclude iterations. Minutes of the meetings must take place at every level and should contain a retrospective aspect.
Everyone should have a chance to voice their opinion during the meetings and each person should be treated equally. Every meeting needs to have a defined agenda and someone directing to make sure it flows in a timely manner while making efficient use of time.
Having the correct diagnostic program is essential to finding problems within software. In order to make a detailed analysis the appropriate tools need to be used,targeting performance problems.
Agile teams are excellent because they can deliver high-quality software faster than other types of teams. To reach this level, you must have the right diagnostic testing in place.
9. Empower your team
Empower your team using a three-step process:
1. Let members help with planning.
2. Ask for team member insight.
3. Respect each team member's valuable insight.
When understanding how to empower your team it is crucial to treat your members of your team as you would want to be treated.
Everyone should feel respected within their and supported in a teams where everyone contributes equally for the most optimal success.
10. Make customer feedback a priority
Customer feedback about features and functionality is your ultimate resource for improving your product. Users tend not to give biased feedback as they don't have benefit from fabricating negative opinions.
You must understand these areas in feedback:
Funnel the user to customer feedback forms
Have contact forms on mobile and desktop
Have live chat available
Have easily accessed social media
Agile teams rely heavily on both order and organization. Take your time, believe in your team and remember - patience is a virtue.
This is a guest post from Wendy Dessler a super-connector with ManageBL.io who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.
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