How To Use The Agile Methodology To increase Your Team’s Productivity

When managing groups of concentrated people in software development there is a good chance you’ve heard of Agile. Agile is based on simplicity, flexibility and constant iteration. As Agile teams learn on the go, it is difficult to predict exactly where a project is and what communication requires on a given day.

Agile Communication

Agile communication focuses less on detailed and complex documentation than on quick and dirty face-to-face conversations. The most efficient and effective way to provide information to the development team is through face-to-face conversations. 

Agile communication requires planning at the highest level to enable a clear exchange of information and productive face-to-face meetings. In the world of Agile, things happen fast. This means that you can’t always plan the conversations you need to have. 

Traditional project management focuses on documentation and status reports to measure and track progress. When working with software, progress is the most important measure. Agile does not throw away documentation, but attaches great importance to functional performance. In other words, Agile prefers to show and tell through regular sprints and reviews.

What is Scrum?

The formal Agile method used by project managers is called Scrum. Scrum provides a process to determine what work needs to be done, how to do it, when to do it, and how to complete it. While agile is a philosophy and orientation, Scrum is a specific methodology for project management. 

The scrum methodology is characterized by short phases or sprints in which project work takes place. The project team identifies a small portion of the scope to be completed in an upcoming sprint over a period of between two and four weeks during sprint planning. 

At the end of the final sprint, the work is ready to be delivered to the customer. This cycle is repeated throughout the project lifecycle until the full scope is delivered. At the end of the sprints, the team reviews the lessons learned.

Shippable Progress

In many ways, this reflects aspects of traditional project management. One major difference is that this part of the project is shippable in a way that can be delivered at the very end. This allows the customer to recognize the value of a project at an early stage, rather than waiting until the project is completed to see the results.

Team Size

One aspect of the scrum teams that is often overlooked is the size of the team and an ideal Scrum team size is 3-9 members. Not every organisation or project needs all the resources available to employ a scrum team so don’t overlook this facet. In fact, small teams are the way many organizations and projects actually work.

A result-focused mindset encourages team members to find out how to broaden their involvement in the project, reduce negligence and share additional responsibilities within the team. For example, a backend developer can enhance his capabilities by taking on front-end development tasks or a scrum master can work on behalf of the development team to understand the needs of a business analyst. In a way, this paradox occurs when a team is initially small, has no resources, or someone leaves the team for some reason. The key to addressing this situation is to coach team members on how to focus on results, because in the world of software development, providing software can become a hostage to “we will work with our current team because there are too few people.”    

The implementation of Scrum and other agile development methods is about making adjustments and compromises where it makes sense. Agile is about doing things differently, so experiment with new approaches with your small team until you find what works best. 

Scrum is best suited for projects that do not have clear requirements and are likely to experience changes that require frequent testing. For the Agile approach to be the right one for your project, you must decide whether Scrum is the best Agile methodology for your specific needs and goals.

It is important to remember that the key to a successful project lies not only in choosing the right methodology, but also in skillful implementation. This requires a competent understanding of methodology in conjunction with other critical skills in project management. Project managers have to know how to communicate effectively with the management team to succeed in their role, apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills and adapt to the organizational dynamics and complexity around them.



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