Project management is not about beating people with sticks or rewarding for extra effort. Those means were effective a few ages ago, heck, even a few decades ago, but not today. In 2018 project management is all about motivation, encouragement and flexibility of both your teams and your business.
That’s where agile teams step in.
Agile development is an alternate path of project management designed and oriented for the teams to bring in more value faster and with fewer headaches. The eggs are not put in one basket of one final release, but are rather divided between multiple smaller launches leading to instant feedback loops and the ability to change on the go.
The rules of Agile Software Development
17 independent practitioners of various programming languages came together in 2001 to create something that revolutionized the world of software development as we know it – they have come up with the Agile Manifesto.
The new methodology developed by software development teams for software development teams stands on ten pillars, the agile rules:
- Customer satisfaction is the №1 priority. It is achieved through early delivery of finished software with value.
- Requirements, even the ones that contradict initial designs are always welcome if they serve a purpose of better product delivery.
- All software delivered to clients has to be working. The software should be delivered frequently, on a weekly or a monthly basis.
- Stakeholders. Business owners and the development team have to work together on a product. Always.
- Face-to-face conversations or standups are the most efficient way of communications.
- Motivation is key. If your team is not motivated to deliver the product either find aa way of encouraging their creativity or find a different development team for the job.
- Software that works is and will always be the only measurement of progress.
- Development has to be sustainable. Every party involved must have the possibility to move at the same pace.
- Simplicity is key, but it is not about minimizing the amount of work done, but the polar opposite of it – maximizing work that shouldn’t be done in the first place.
- Adjustments in the team’s behavior have to be monitored and discusses on a regular basis.
Now that the rules are set, it is time to watch how they work in real life on a complex software development project.
How do agile teams work?
Agile software development, just like any other development process out there begins with the analysis of business requirements and development of a suitable architecture. Then the requirements are divided into sprints and the team starts working on the project.
A sprint is a cluster-sized development life cycle that usually takes a week of time. Although the duration varies from project to project the core principals remain intact – a sprint is the development process that involves analysis of requirements, product development, testing, and release. The result of a sprint is always a finished product or an element of the product that can work independently upon release.
Development sprints encourage early builds and emphasize on the importance of testing and QA and gave birth to such incredible methodologies as Test-Driven Development and Behavior-Driven Development.
Agile team roles
What are the roles in a smoking hot agile development team?
- Team Lead: Also known as the Scrum Master, this role is responsible for everything team-related from performance reviews to motivation and engagement practices.
- Team Member: developers, testers, designers and other people working directly on the development of a project.
- Stakeholder: The direct user or the “golden owner” – the person funding the development of the product.
- Product owner: Representative of the stakeholders. A person responsible for prioritization of development efforts.
These are the general roles of agile development. However, larger projects may also include roles like:
- Architecture owner: Part of the architecture owner team responsible for general direction of architecture and maintenance of business logic in a high-tier solution. This person is also responsible for division of the core architecture into cluster-sized chunks development teams will work with.
- Integrator: Keeps the large-scale project in check and is responsible for building the whole system from the ground up. In large projects teams will deliver working software as the outcome of the sprint and the Integrator is the person responsible for making the whole thing work together as one.
Agile development team management
Now that you know what an agile team is and how it may be of a benefit to your project the only thing that is left for us to share are a few management tips:
- Provide your team with the essentials. Yes, the developers might come to work with their own laptops. they will even be able to code from them. However their computing power will be less than desirable. Ensure that the hardware they work with fits with the project’s demands.
- Ideas are great but result is what matters in the long run. This is a great thing for agile teams as the expected results can be set in concrete showing everyone a clear picture of what has to be done by the end of a sprint.
- Shorter development cycles are better for basing an opinion and forming a superb feedback loops. Ensure that the sprints are as short as possible without harming the ability to deliver working software.
Now that you know what agile teams are and how to work with them tell us if there are any unanswered questions left. Contact us for support and we will get back to you with a fitting solution!