Agile Team Building
Let us talk about one of the main aspects of every company’s activity – the team building. Building a successful Agile team is not a simple task. To achieve your goal you need to show flexibility and innovative business approach. The process of Agile team building has its own specific features. It differs greatly from what we are used to call team building. Let’s look at the Agile team building activities and principles more closely.
Generally, there are several significant differences between the Agile approach to team building and the traditional approach.
The first of them is that every Agile team is a “whole team”. Whole teams are specialized in Extreme Programming (XP). Such a team must have all the necessary skills to finish the project without the help of external specialists and experts. It means that an Agile team must include all the necessary specialists who are involved in the process of software creation.
The second difference between the traditional approach and the Agile approach to team building is that usually Agile teams are formed by generalizing specialists. It means that every member of the Agile team has not only skills required for his own work, but also the knowledge of other processes and the general vision of the project. Such an approach allows the Agile teams to work faster due to the interchangeability of their members.
Stability is the third main feature of the Agile teams that differs them among the traditional teams of developers. Unlike other teams of developers, Agile teams are stable. They are not formed for a certain project. An Agile team may carry out one project after another without the change of its members. It is a large competitive advantage, because the members of stable teams do not require extra time to establish contact with each other while working on a new project.
The abovementioned features of the Agile teams are not only differences between them and traditional teams of developers, but also their competitive advantages. Agile teams are more flexible than the ordinary teams. It means that they can find non-typical solutions faster.
Next question is what are the components of a successful Agile team? What do we need to build it, and what principles do we need to use in the process of its formation?
Every agile team must be built on certain core principles. They include focus on execution, effective collaboration, and customer perspective. These three main principles must be the foundation of every successful Agile team. Your team must include only the developers who can follow these principles in their work. So what are the main characteristics of the Agile team members?
First of all, the members of your team must be skilled professionals. This requirement is necessary not only for Agile team members, but in this case it is especially important.
The second feature of a successful Agile team member is good communication skills. The process of Agile software developing involves more communication between the team members than the regular developing process. It means that if you want to have a successful Agile team, you must organize its work in a way that will help its members to establish contact with each other and communicate constantly during their work. It is also necessary to make this communication productive. All the communications between the developers while their work on a project must have well-defined topics to prevent unnecessary arguments inside of your team.
All the members of the Agile team must be devoted to constant improvement. At first your team may produce may produce unsatisfactory results. To make your work successful it is necessary to analyze and prevent them during the realization of next projects.
Team building activities play great role in the process of creating a successful Agile team. Most of them are aimed at improving the working process. An Agile team building game called “3×3” is one of them. The main idea of this game is to let each Agile team member define the strengths and weaknesses of the team’s work during the last three month. The results of this indirect interview are then analyzed by the company’s management and implemented in the working process to make it more advanced.
We hope that this article will be useful to you while building your Agile team.