6 Ways to Improve Your Agile Delivery Process
How you deliver is just as important as what you deliver. The question is how can you deliver more often, more cost-effectively and more smoothly? Even though your organisation may follow the Agile methodology but there are several shortcomings that even teams who practice this dynamic approach have to be aware of.
#1. You focus on minor production issues
Everything that makes the use of a product inconvenient for customers is a “production issue”. The only difference is priority level. One of the main mistakes teams make is spending several iterations on fixing minor defects. In other words, they focus on the vocal minority and try to improve a product that is already great for 90% of users.
Make sure your team is working on items that have the highest priority and will help you keep ahead of your competitors.
#2. Your team lacks transparency
One of the most damaging team compositions that your organisation may have is when the team is divided into functional groups without a common platform and transparency. If often happens when products are large in size and complexity. But to deliver a product successfully you need to have a balanced team composition where every functional group has access to each other’s backlogs.
#3. Your team is too large
When your team is too large (i.e. when there are 1 product owner, 1 designer, 1 test engineer and 20 developers), you will have to either deliver lots users stories each iteration to keep your developers busy (and unfortunately, lose out on quality). Or you can keep the amount of work at the same level and end up with lots of developers underutilised.
Try to create a team where each member is interchangeable and can play other roles, i.e. developers can assist the test engineer or help the product owner with user story writing, etc.
#3. You choose volume over value
Every product owner tries to make sure that the team is doing their best, aka working on the highest priority items. The problem is many teams strive to increase their velocity over time and forget that there is still a limit to how much they can deliver.
Instead of chasing after velocity, ensure that your team is value-driven. In other words, focus not on the number of user stories delivered but on value delivered to your customer.
#4. You have poor data analytics
Your product delivery is driven by data – it’s essential to make informed decisions and prioritise items in the backlog. The problems start when you have multiple sources of data that provide different results and insights. Try to consolidate your data sources into a single report, automate and distribute it so that the team and other stakeholders have the same data as you.
#5. Your teams lacks proper training
If you are a manager and have to work with old-school waterfall individuals, you will have to spend half of your time educating them and annoying them with your patronising. Make sure your organisation provides a constant training, even if it is as simple as inviting agile champions to share experience and advice.
#6. You always play safe
As a product manager, you should be crazy about changing the way people interact with things they use. Push your boundaries and always try to improve the way you and your team work. In other words, go big or go home.