Implementing Agile methodologies in project management can make a world of difference and benefit businesses tremendously. However, to truly understand the Agile way and the role it plays within a team, we must return to the fundamentals. In other words, back to basics.
What is the Agile method all about?
An Agile methodology is an approach to project management adopted in software development. This method refers to methodologies concerning ideas, requirements, and solutions centered on collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams. This approach supports teams taking into consideration the unexpected turns that software building can take. The value of the Agile approach focuses on providing a faster response, agility and faster experience to sudden changes. A recipe designed to build the ideal Agile team.
How does an Agile team work?
The Agile method was developed as a different approach to conventional project management. Instead of focusing on one big goal that leads to a final product, Agile breaks up that goal into several independent products that can be developed and released more efficiently and thus, more quickly. The core of Agile is centered on two project management styles, specifically, Kanban and Scrum. When it comes to Agile workflow elements, there are some defining specs:
Daily standups – A time for questions where all members and leaders discuss what was done in the previous day, as well as achievements, highs, needed improvements and what each member/team is working on at the moment.
Sprints – A sprint is all about planning all stages of a product, from development to evaluation. The sprint is commonly divided into five events, namely: sprint, sprint planning, daily stand-ups, sprint review, and sprint retrospective.
Reviews and assessments – The majority of companies see regular reviews as a must and this is especially common with an agile team. Even though an Agile team is all about managing themselves, there are still steps to make sure all stages of the work are being reached within the standard and quality expected. Assessments, are a key part, allowing members and managers to understand, evaluate and set with detail the work or the best route to take.
As said previously, frameworks such as scrum help teams to follow agile principles, providing needed support to optimize work. These frameworks serve ultimately as the team’s guide, a compass to true north. Yet, the makings of an ideal team rely on its arrangement, from the number of team members to their role and a scrum team focuses on three:
Product Owner – The product owner plays a key role considering that he has the idea of the final product and how it should turn out for the specific project at hand. This person provides important feedback and will deliver the team with information when amendments or adjustments are required. He is the one with the hands-on the steering wheel that defines the route, team goals, tasks and has the final word on any changes.
Scrum Master – Besides having a Zen master like title, the scrum master also plays an important role. These individuals are the all-wise keepers of the scrum board, they are the second in command and mentor junior members in ways only masters can. They check the daily work, provide feedback to the team and make sure procedures are correctly applied so all targets are reached within the time and quality expected. In sum, this experienced leader needs to perform like a star player since it’s he who provides guidance and support to all. He is the bridge between the product owner and the team and is accountable for making sure performance is on point.
Team members – The team members are the builders of the product, the backbone of any project, a skilled workforce of developers, designers, content experts and many more that are in charge of delivering all projects with the utmost quality and within the set deadlines. The right team members are all about supporting one and another, always aware of needed improvement while communicating with the scrum master, constantly brainstorming thanks to the different experiences they bring to the table. No skilled scrum master or product owner can deliver an amazing product without the right team members. Success starts with them.
Ultimately, an Agile team introduces benefits when it comes to improving development and high-quality software. A methodology focused on self-organizing cross-functional teams with autonomy and technical expertise. The agile framework walks side by side with the scrum model and combining the agile methodology with an iterative approach, roles and responsibility that scrum is known for will lead to high performance and a strong strategy.