Agile Development Teams and Productivity

Agile Development Teams and Productivity

Agile development teams are essential for developing productivity. In adopting agile methodologies, teams’ flexibility and speed of work increase. The quality of work in agile development teams is promising.

By improving the planning and work strategies, productivity increases with adopting new technology in a team following agile methods. Trying new ideas and enhancing skills in agile software development teams helps boost productivity.

What is Agile Methodology?

There are different work processes for daily office work, like the waterfall and agile software models. The agile methodology divides processes into smaller modules and follows an iterative model.

The iteration occurs with team discussion and constant meetings with new objectives delivery.

Agile methodology is iteration-based in software development, and the requirements are derived from cross-functional and self-organized teams. There are generally two principles of agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban.

In project development, agile methods include project management with rules and leadership that motivates the team members by constant inspection and guarding with accountability and self-organization in software development teams.

Agile Development Teams – Meaning

A development team refers to a group of individuals that work together to complete a project or meet organizational goals.

Agile development teams consist of different members with talents that work under agile planning. Agile development teams function in two categories:

Cross-Functional Team

There are multiple people in an agile software team, and in cross-functional teams, there are individuals with many skills and talents in the same team.

Instead of having a separate team of graphic developers or coders and calling each one for specific work, one team has enough members with different skills.

Some benefits of cross-functional teams are:

  • Members of a cross-functional agile software team are self-sufficient and don’t need help from other members of different teams.
  • The feedback cycles are fast as the team fills the gap by the team members who communicate for rapid progress in the project.
  • The team productivity is high as processes are transparent and easy to control with visible outcomes.
  • Risk management is easier with proper resources like technology and other requirements.

Self Organized Team

This team formation is different from the typical hierarchical team formation in software development teams.

There is no team leader in a self-organized team, and each team member is equally responsible for the work conduction. Each team member is accountable for the output of the team. 

Some benefits of self-organized teams are:

  • People are highly motivated and autonomous, experiencing freedom.
  • Team members express ideas better, and there is more innovation and new ways for the same outcome.
  • The problems are easily solved and need to be easily met as the hierarchical system is not used.
  • There are fewer defects as every member is equally accountable and tries to correct mistakes.

Ways to Improve Productivity Through Agile Teams

Ways to Improve Productivity Through Agile Development Teams

When working in agile teams, remember when you expect high team productivity. For getting more productivity through agile teams, there is a need for scrum masters and maintaining team size.

Some other things to remember for high team productivity in agile planning are:

Remove Obstruction in Processes

The obstructions or problems that can arise in the project process and the prediction of such issues are made beforehand in agile teams.

Scrum masters ensure that the developers follow pre-defined plans when user stories are written in a software project.

If there are changes in plans or any problems arising while discussing, it’s better to include Scrum Master in improving agile methods.

The main productivity killer is distractions in teams that divert the focus from actual work into other things.

Size of Team

Another thing that affects the productivity of agile development teams is the total number of people in a team. The approximate size for a team is 3 to 9 members.

When a team is smaller, the members can communicate effectively, and if, by chance, there is a big group, you can subdivide the groups into smaller groups.

The team size is necessary for fulfilling duties and meeting project goals while maintaining agile time. The team is easily manageable with smaller teams, and lets team members grow in agile software development.

Adding members does not give solutions to problems, and you need to take care of the turnover ratio.

Daily Standups

Daily standups are essential in agile development teams as it is not very time-consuming. The 10 to 15 minutes of a day of healthy discussion helps in knowing the workflow of each member.

If there are off-topic discussions, make sure you strictly finish the work meeting and continue with other topics.

Planning for meetings and listing important things to discuss is a great way to effective standups and agile time.

With productive presentations in standups, every member finishes the task on time and can ask for help when they encounter problems daily in a software project.

Product Backlogs

Product backlogs need brushing up as they contain works of priority. The specification in product backlogs must match the product you’re building with the help of your agile team. 

If the backlogs are confusing and the team members cannot grasp the meaning of the things written, then a lot of time is wasted in understanding the user stories.

For this, ensure that the user stories are explained in detail and are easy to understand.

Mindset for Advancement

For software improvement, it is essential to conduct the processes properly. After each sprint, team members can come up with new ideas. The ideas are implemented until the next sprint, and results are delivered accordingly.

For executing the action made for the project, responsibility is shared, and every team member contributes from their side to bring out the best for the projects. With a mindset for improvement and acceptance of past mistakes, the team moves forward.

Work Visibility

When the work is clear with goals and objectives, it is easier to meet the goals as the planning is clear. Calculation of ROI and other important productivity management metrics helps deliver outputs to stakeholders.

Collaborating with customer service teams can help team members visualize how the created product is formed according to customers’ demands.

Showing charts and data to the team members and stakeholders makes the process even and visible.

Single-Tasking

When a team focuses on a single task and collaborates effectively in remote teams, the team members can achieve goals faster.

Trying to complete many tasks will confuse the whole team, and the workflow is diverted from the process.

The work in agile development teams needs proper planning and completion with understanding.

While multitasking, none of the tasks get the attention and time and sometimes demand the repetition of the entire process. 

Avoiding Interruptions

Maintenance is an important part of product development, and when mending the features, interruptions may occur. With bugs and fixes, you can avoid interruptions and maintain the product.

Another important way to avoid interruption is staying patient and trying hard to fix the problem. More research and development are necessary for solving the immediate problems of agile teams.

Why are Agile Development Teams More Effective Than Others?

Agile development teams are more effective than others as the team members are focused and do not multitask. As each member focuses on only one thing, the work is in order.

In the waterfall project method, the scope is large, and agile has a smaller scope. With a smaller scope, they estimate better and meet deadlines faster.

When deadlines are short, each member is eager to complete tasks faster with quality performance and meet the deadline asap. In each sprint, the goals are met, and productivity remains high due to the iterative process. 

Ways to Adopt Agile Principles for Your Team

Remember to research it once you realize it’s time to shift to a new process with new story points, leaving the older process in half the story.

When you shift from other methods to agile, there are a few things to keep in mind for attaining better goals. Some ways to adopt agile principles are:

Detect Project Challenges

Before shifting to other methods, find the problems you and your organization face that has compelled you to change the processes.

With agile, you can increase efficiency, productivity, and work speed. Collecting feedback from employees is also a good idea to track continuous improvement.

Make Your Team

Gathering team members with brighter ideas are the next step. Find members that like experimenting with products and schedule time to market your product, and you can even train them for different skills.

Start Experimenting

  • Explain the agile principles.
  • Clear all the team members’ doubts.
  • Manage time with the Gantt chart.

Agile case studies help analyze the method’s output and get started with your agile team.

Misconceptions about Agile Development Teams

Some people think that agile development teams are too demanding and pressure the development side. The continuous iterations demand meeting deadlines, and setting goals is difficult.

Agile development teams should have clearer goals and objectives and understand time management.

Time management is easier with time and productivity tracking applications. Setting priorities after task assignment is a good strategy to work in agile development teams.

Conclusion

Project management tools help meet agile teams’ goals by better management and adopting agile methods. To improve agile methods, one must focus on the team’s productivity.

The business metric needs the proper calculation to understand how agile development teams are progressing and working efficiently.

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