What is the key to managing an Agile development team?
Agile development methodologies work best when everyone is working as a cohesive unit in a single location. However, the recent pandemic has forced teams to adopt a remote Agile framework to remain on top of tasks and ensure efficient collaboration.
Managers can increase project predictability and flexibility with remote Agile development methodologies because it divides the project into manageable and short sprints. Regardless of its advantages, running a remote Agile development team can be physically and mentally demanding as it requires you to coordinate with team members and ensure they stay motivated towards achieving your goals.
In this article, we’ll talk about remote working and collaboration in Agile teams and provide you with essential tips to ensure successful management.
1. Establish work procedures
Challenges in Agile development often occur when there is a mismatch between the culture of the organization and its people. With remote work becoming the norm, it is common for organizations to fall into this trap, resulting in issues that interfere with productivity. Thus, creating defined work procedures for accountability, teamwork, and productivity is critical in ensuring successful management.
By establishing clear work procedures, you can set clear expectations for your remote scrum teams and ensure they understand your goals, making it easier for teams to provide you with a more accurate quote and speed up product development. It also provides you with a way to evaluate your team’s progress and make the necessary adjustments to help them stay aligned with your organizational objectives and improve software delivery effectiveness.
2. Communicate more often
Agile is continuously becoming the gold standard for software development teams. With its emphasis on self-organizing and close-knit teams that work together and respond quickly to change, effective communication reserves a critical role in the process. This is because the lack of communication can often lead to insufficient understanding of the method and progress, which could ultimately jeopardize the project. For example, it helps reach a fruitful collaboration and brainstorming for computer science vs computer engineering experts in your department.
That said, you must ensure that virtual Agile teams communicate more often to actively engage each project participant. You may also opt to schedule daily meetings, ask for weekly progress reports, and consider setting up monthly all-hands-on-deck demonstrations for the whole team. Through this process, you can stay on top of bottlenecks before they arise and gain invaluable insights to keep everyone aligned with each other.
3. Use the right Agile methodology
The dynamic nature of the software industry made it more challenging for developers to manage software projects remotely. Forbes reports that roughly 50% of software projects fail or do not meet business expectations due to inappropriate methodologies. Therefore, organizations must initially analyze several factors such as acceptance capabilities and project types to choose the right Agile methodology.
You should also thoroughly evaluate how an Agile approach will support your remote development goals. Once you have identified that an Agile approach is an optimal option, you must subsequently determine the right combination of tools, techniques, practices, and frameworks suitable for your defined goals. By choosing the right Agile methodology, you can reduce the rate of failure and increase the likelihood of delivering a quality solution at the right time.
4. Enhance the level of documentation
It is not uncommon for development teams to commit more to working on code instead of upfront documentation. While there is nothing wrong with it, the immediate shift to remote work may mean documenting more than it used to. The reality is that implementing Agile software development with distributed teams is difficult because they cannot sketch on a whiteboard quickly to work through a complex concept.
This may leave your development and testing teams guessing on the nuances that would otherwise be delivered through proper documentation. It also allows you to set the appropriate Agile values and principles to ensure easier alignment with the changes and timeline going forward. This way, you can ensure that the project will get proper user support should any last-minute change occur during the user-acceptance test execution.
5. Take advantage of an Agile project management solution
Effective remote Agile development requires close collaboration between several individuals over multiple channels. Therefore, you must take advantage of robust Agile project management solutions to handle visual workflows and facilitate retrospectives efficiently. With a dynamic, Agile project software platform in place, you can eliminate the likelihood of complete project failure by initiating regular checkups and determining areas of improvement throughout the development process.
Unlike typical development processes, implementing remote Agile development requires teams to conduct constant releases and incorporate them into every iteration. Managing these processes manually can negatively affect your ability to better respond to market trends and decrease development speed. Leveraging Agile project management software solutions also allows you to gain significant insights that help you ensure a successful agile transition for your remote teams and achieve process optimization.
Managing remote teams through the use of dynamic solutions
Overcoming the challenges of remote work is critical to ensuring successful Agile development processes. Thus, taking advantage of powerful solutions such as Plandek is essential in gaining actionable insights that help in strategic decision-making and improve reporting for continuous dependability velocity and quality. Plandek is brimming with powerful features that reduce delivery risk and improve delivery effectiveness in addition to its Teams and Enterprise packages.
Plandek works by mining data from toolsets used by delivery teams (such as Jira, Git, CI/CD tools and Slack), to provide end-to-end delivery metrics/analytics to optimise software delivery predictability, risk management and process improvement.
Plandek is a global leader in this fast-growing field, recognised by Gartner as a top nine global vendor in their DevOps Value Stream Management Market Guide (published in Sept 2020).
Plandek is based in London and works with clients globally to apply predictive data analytics and machine learning to deliver software more effectively.