How to Tell if Your Team Is Really Agile
Being agile isn’t as simple as calling a meeting, sticking a megaphone in front of your face, and proclaiming, “As of now, all our projects and practices will be more agile!” Sure, it might be a good (if eccentric) start, but in order to become agile, you have to really work at it.
Each member of your agile team has to be sharp, be focused, and hold a certain level of expertise on whatever is being worked on. Agile teams must iterate and respond to change at a steady clip. There needs to be communication, a significant amount of autonomy among the group, and the ability to implement innovation throughout the development process.
Agile teams run like a well-oiled machine, so it’s important to take a look at your group and assess just how agile it really is. What fixable problems might you be experiencing that are jamming up the system, causing the process to run slower than it needs to? Below are just a few examples of what might be keeping you and your team from being truly agile.
- If your team members don’t seem to care about what you’re working on, or fail to show any excitement for the project, they’re likely dragging the agile process down. Enthusiasm often leads to better, more agile work.
- Being a perfectionist can lead to top-notch work in plenty of different situations, but in an agile environment, you can’t spend all your time polishing an unreleased project. Iteration often involves some level of failure, so it’s important to not get caught up on the small things.
- Listening is critical in a team environment, but so is healthy, consistent communication. Teams need to be able to share their progress and communicate what’s working, what’s not, and why.
- If you can’t get something to a “done” state in your allotted time, you’re just not being agile. The team must produce completed, functioning, tested results in a timely manner.
- In the world of agile development, unexpected things are going to happen. If your team has a set routine that can’t be altered in order for work to get done, there’s a problem. An unexpected bump in the road cannot derail development.
Not all agile teams are built the same, but most are often populated by happy, motivated, and efficient people. When you can get everyone on the same page and aim to achieve a clear goal, just about anything can be created.