8 Characteristics of high-performing agile teams

Agile teams are an important element of project management in software development. Ever wonder how Jazz musicians sometimes become scrum masters?

It’s simple. You can learn to create and manage an agile team from Jazz masters. One can easily draw parallels between managing music bands and agile teams in software development as functionally, both are the same.

You shouldn’t be surprised therefore that in order to explain the tenets of the scrum or an agile team, you should go beyond the periphery of software development. Now, let’s first understand what is an agile team?

What is an Agile Team?

An agile team is a one-extensive team that can take up any job role, task, or deadline and accomplishes the impossible through systematic planning, approach, and strategies. An agile team understands the project completely, breaks it down into fragments or modules, works on them individually or cross-functionally, tests deploys, and completes the project well before a scheduled deadline.

Almost everyone in an agile team has a uniform understanding of a project and its requirements. This allows the team members to back each other up under various circumstances.

There is no secret recipe to becoming an agile team. In order to become an agile team, you need to understand change and learn how to manage it to the best of your abilities. Remember, you have to manage change within your existing resources. Now, let’s understand how do we start an agile team?

How do you start an Agile Team?

Agile is more about keeping a team together by bringing in policies and principles than assembling the right team. Some factors to look for when starting an agile team include –

  1. Team members are team players as the action of one influences the other.
  2. An attitude of We rather than I
  3. Team members who don’t need micromanagement and can take ownership of tasks
  4. Versatile team members who can take up multiple skills to complete projects and more

The agile teams are ever-changing teams and they require an entire shift in your attitude and the way you approach things. That’s why we discuss how does agile teamwork?

How Does an Agile Team Work?

Since agile is a systematic and planned development process, it generally involves the following workflow.

  1. The product owner or the lead communicates the project requirements, expectations, and outcomes from their client.
  2. A team meeting is called for by the product owner once they get a thorough understanding of the project details. The meeting involves team members such as developers, testers, coordinators, and more.
  3. Requirements are shared, deadlines are set and backlogs are created.
  4. Scrum master of the project conducts daily scrum sessions to ensure the project development is on track. In case of clarifications or escalations, they are looked into and settled immediately.
  5. A weekly or bi-weekly sprint meeting is conducted to communicate the progress with clients or stakeholders. The sprint meeting also decides the next phase of the development process.
  6. These sprint sessions and meetings are repeated until the product is developed.
  7. The completed product is delivered to the customer once completed.

It also relates to the way you collaborate and communicates among your peers and team members. Agility is also about how a team as a unit is able to allow switching or extending individual roles and responsibilities to adjust to the project requirement.

What are the Roles in an Agile Team?

Agile is a universal concept that is tweaked according to a project or organizational requirements. The four prominent roles in an agile team include the following –

  1. Scrum Master – otherwise called a team leads or team coach. They are responsible for owning a project, guiding their team members, planning, resource management, and more.
  2. Team Member – responsible for the development and delivery of a project.
  3. Product Owner – the client-facing representative, who is responsible for ROIs, backlog completions, product demos, and more.
  4. Stakeholders – involves a spectrum of people such as users, investors, managers, support, executive teams, and more.

8 Characteristics of a High-Performing Agile Team

Before understating the characteristics of a high performing agile team, first, we learn:

What is Agile in Simple Terms?

Agile is a contemporary concept in the software development cycle that allows teams to develop an airtight product with fewer iterations in a lesser time. Instead of a monolithic development strategy, agile involves working on fragments of projects at the same time, making modifications and changes easy and manageable.

Read More: How Software Development has changed over the years?

A good agile team exhibits the following qualities:

1. Unified Outlook

The High-performing or successful agile team of a mobile app development company will always consider Agile as a mindset instead of a set of activities or ceremonies. For those who are unaware, the agile framework states the importance of the different aspects of agile and offers a multitude of techniques to follow.

Team members of a successful Agile will share basic fundamental mindsets which are enlisted below

  1. Respect People: Team members of Agile will always respect the people who are involved in making software or any other process. This mindset will enable sustainable and high-quality development and it will eliminate the risk of team members getting burned out. Happy team members will always be self-determine and take pride in doing good work and be willing to do it with improvement.
  2. Continuous Improvement: Sprint retrospective is the main thing that every agile member of the web app development company should have. Agile team members will continue to do self-analysis by conducting examinations and deliberately will improve their skills. This is how an average or bad agile team will turn out to be a successful and high-performing team.
  3. Pays Attention to Process Repetition to Generate Outcome: Successful Agile Team will understand the impossibility of finding the exact solution for the up-front problem, even if they manage to find a solution it will not be the right since it will not match the marketing context. So that will hand over the tool to the end-users and ask them to determine what the agile team of a software development company should do for developing at the right time and move towards the successful roadmap.

2. Accountability & Continuous Improvement

Emphasis on rapid iteration would be the main difference you can spot between an average or underperforming agile team and a high-performing or successful agile team. Successful team members of Agile will never hesitate to take responsibility for their failures and continue to develop their skills until they witness growth and development. Experienced Agile practitioners of a software development company will always have enough space to make decisions and remain within the boundaries of the organization’s values.

3. Value-Driven Development

A Successful Agile team of a web app development company will always focus on the product features and keep it as the main unit for early planning and developing the business value early. After which they continue their iteration on testing the application before delivering it in the features prioritized order.

4. Multi-Level Planning

Continuous planning is one of the inevitable for a successful agile team. Once they release the product/application in a feature prioritized way, they will initiate the iteration level where they break it down into their discrete technical tasks for picking and planning for the next batch of features. It will be easier and to deliver accurate results for tackling large-scale up projects.

In this way, they never work based on wild guesses; they carry out the development process with little bites through by managing agile product requirements and goals.

5. Ability to Adapt New Way of Doing Things

A successful and high-performing agile team of a mobile app development company will tend to transform their approach model from the traditional methods like Upfront/Waterfall to a new way of an agile approach. While doing so, they make sure about integrating the agile approach with their client’s business department and make things easier for finding the business values.

6. Accepts and Work On Basis of Continuous Feedback

The frameworks of a successful agile team include improving the performance of the application/software based on feedback. They follow iterative approaches like Scrum & SAFe on improving the performance based on the feedback. However, by analysis, the agile team’s bottleneck situation focuses on Just-In-Time Delivery and limiting Work in Progress (WIP) and makes sure all distinct work is carried out smoothly.

7. Structure & Creativity Comfort

The frameworks of a successful agile team of a software development company give importance to the completion of design and architecture of the software/application well advanced. By doing so, agile will allow developers to enjoy enough space to determine what is required and how to develop it accurately to meet the requirements of the users.

In addition to that, the iterative approach of agile development will encourage team members to try out new approaches. If the experimentation fails, they will get notified in advance and be able to refactor it. This model of working structure will trigger users to take a creative approach to problem-solving.

8. Relative Estimation

A successful agile team will practice relative estimation for predicting needed features of an application/software to accelerate the planning and to remove the unnecessary complexity involved in the development process. When a feature exceeds the planned estimation time it will be broken further into multiple features and refine the estimation successively.

Wrapping Up

Take a pause, rethink your strategy and step back if something goes wrong. Agile teams do not allow themselves to go in unintended directions. The scrum is all around us and we experience it everywhere in our daily life.

The most successful teams are agile teams, not just in software development, but in almost every field of life. Every member of your software development team should be able to think from a different perspective so as to offer their unique contribution to overall achievement.

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Nisarg Mehta Nisarg Mehta

Nisarg Mehta, CEO & Chairman of Techtic Solutions, is the vision of the company. Nisarg is active in operations in his daily routine as he is one of the key decision makers in terms of technological advancements of the company. He is a friendly leader with hardworking, motivating, visionary and passionate personality.

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