15 Best Practices of Agile Development You Need to Follow
Nowadays more and more software development companies adopt Agile. Though Agile methodologies may seem easy to learn but in reality, they are hard to master. Your team can get some details wrong and it may lead to poor communication and even software defects.
Below is a list of 15 best practices of Agile development that will help you avoid pitfalls and always keep your team on track.
1. A product backlog is maintained by a dedicated role
The key to a successful start of any agile software development project is a dedicated product owner who has a vision and conveys it to the team. The product owner does it through prioritizing features listed in the product backlog.
2. Creating the sprint backlog during spring planning meeting
During these meeting, the product owner describes high-priority features, and the team asks questions and creates detailed tasks for the sprint backlog.
3. Planning Poker to estimate tasks
As far as the concept of Planning Poker is concerned, each member of the team has a set of cards with the numbers representing the effort to implement a task. For each feature in the backlog, each person makes an independent estimate using the cards. Then, the cards are shown and people can discuss their estimates.
4. Daily meetings to resolve issues
These meetings should be short and used to discuss problems and solutions. The team should stand up in a circle and avoid long conversations. During stand-up meetings, developers should report what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today and what problem can cause a delay.
5. Encouraging self-organizing teams
The advantage of self-organizing teams is the authority to make decisions and adapt to changing demands. Team members volunteer for tasks and don’t wait for the leader to assign work. This ensures a greater sense of ownership and commitment.
6. Burn down charts to monitor progress
A burndown chart is a graphical representation of work left to do versus time. It is very useful for predicting when all of the work will be completed. Here’s how it looks in Hygger:
7. Sprint reviews to present the completed work
During this meeting, the team shows what product backlog items they completed during the sprint. This might take place in the form of a PowerPoint presentation or a demo of new features.
8. Sprint retrospectives to learn from the previous sprint
This meeting is conducted to discuss the just-concluded sprint and determine what could be changed to make the next sprint more productive.
9. Release planning meeting to create a release plan
The essence of the release planning meeting is for the development team to estimate each user story in terms of ideal programming weeks. The customer then decides what story is the most important or has the highest priority to be completed.
10. Creating an ideal Agile workspace
Things that should be within the ideal agile workspace include:
- big visible charts (a visual reminder of the current state of the project)
- the possibility to see each member of the team (everyone should be visible in the team workspace)
- big whiteboards (at least one where developers may share problems and seek solutions)
- a quiet and private place (for relaxing, working alone or private calls)
11. Setting a sustainable pace
A sustainable pace helps the team members plan releases and iterations and keeps them from working overtime.
12. Estimating the project velocity
The main idea behind project velocity is to help teams estimate how much work they can complete in a given time period based on how quickly similar work was previously completed.
13. Cross training
If only one person in your team can work in a given area and that person decides to leave or just has too much to do, the project’s progress can slow down. Cross training helps to avoid this situation and makes your team more flexible.
14. Always having the customer available
Having the customer available is very important. It’s better to have one or more customers assigned to the development team.
15. Creating spike solutions to reduce risks
A spike solution is a very simple program to explore potential solutions. It helps to figure out answers to tough technical or design problems.