How to Make Agile Work for Your Specific Team
Is agile enough to make a team succeed? In most cases, the answer’s “no.” We often think of agile as some magic solution that allows teams to work faster, test more often, and speed up processes that often drag software development down, but there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all solution.
Many people often mix concepts like Scrum, Kanban, and daily stand-ups with agility. And while you often see these ideas incorporated into an agile structure, not every single agile team makes use of them. Without a doubt, agile is a mindset all developers and testers should understand and even adopt, but it can’t fix all your specific problems unless you include other techniques and ideas into your system.
Sven Peters, the lead evangelist for Atlassian, spoke during an interview with StickyMinds about how agile, on its own, isn’t enough. It’s a great start, but you can’t just assume that what’s worked for other teams is going to work for your situation.
“The biggest problem is that it's quite an abstract concept. What do the principles and values mean for the day-to-day job of a developer?” Peters asked. “Doing things others haven't tried, coming up with new concepts for better engineering collaboration, or taking the time to work on automating parts of QA helps software development teams be more effective. Every team, organization, and software product is different, and so should be your development.”
Do you have too many meetings? Adopt an agile mindset and discover meetings you can cut back on or ways your teams can discuss progress on certain projects on the go. Are some design issues lingering longer than you’d like? Shift your testing further to the left and address small problems before they become major headaches.
Taking a step back, being honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and then using agile concepts to make yourself better is smarter than simply looking at what other people have done and copying their structure. Agile can be your base, but don’t let trends that work for your competitor dictate the core of your software development. Take agile and make it work for you.
“Don't just try to copy all of the successful concepts from other companies or thought leaders,” Peters continued. “Look at your own development problems and focus on how to fix those. Kick-ass software development is all about constantly improving, so focus on the things that will make the biggest difference for your team and your end-users first.”