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SECRETS OF
HIGH-PERFORMANCE
rockinterview.in
The need for high-performance agile teams
Companies that are successful at Agile believe that teamwork is essential to
delivering great software.
A high-performance agile team delivers exceptional results every time, irrespective of
the challenges in front of them.
A team that is motivated, engaged and collaborative contribute the most towards
achieving the organization’s objectives.
So, how do you go about building an engaged, high-performance team?
8 Secrets to building
high-performance agile teams
rockinterview.in
Give them a big picture outlook
Establish a clearly defined charter that is aligned with the organization’s objectives.
Pick up user stories from the backlog that are in line with the organization’s vision and
goals.
Give each team member clear ownership of a particular area of the application such
as UX, architecture, etc.
Successful agile teams have a clear and common understanding of overall business
objective and they have the freedom to define their individual goals in alignment with
the organization’s objectives.
rockinterview.in
Smaller the better
Smaller teams are nimble, can communicate and collaborate better. The sweet spot
for team size is 5 to 8 members.
With a high number of team members, the communication paths increase
exponentially. Easier communication leads to higher performance and better output.
If you have a team of greater than 10 members, consider dividing the team down into
smaller groups.
rockinterview.in
Maintain a consistent team with broad set of skills
Any project requires different set of skills to deliver a set of functionality in each sprint.
Usually this means having multiple developers across the application stack, business
analysts, architects, UX experts, and testers as part of the team.
You can’t do that effectively if the team doesn’t have individuals with the necessary
skill sets. Build a team that can complement each other and deliver value.
With time, each individual in the team understands the strengths and weaknesses of
other team members and establishes a working relationship. If a team composition
changes in between the project, the teams needs to start all over again. Try to
maintain the same team for the entire duration of the project.
rockinterview.in
Avoid distributed team and part-time members
For a project to be executed successfully and on-time, you need team members that
are fully engaged and focused on their tasks. A few part-time members can spoil the
team dynamics and force others to multi-task in order to make up for the part-time
members.
Distributed teams are also hard. Team Dynamics are much better when the team is
co-located.
Try to avoid distributed team as well as part-time members if you can. In case you
can’t, do the following:
Spend on project collaboration tools so that the distributed teams can virtually
share and collaborate.
Try to reduce the number of time zones and difference between the time zones
as much as possible.
Arrange a team get together during project kickoff and possibly, later during
important project milestones.
rockinterview.in
Identify the right metrics for the team
Organizations often go with the popular metrics used in project management which
are not necessarily aligned with what is expected from the team.
Spent time defining metrics that help in measuring and boosting the overall
performance. While the metrics must be meaningful to the team, the top management
should also be able to use the same metrics to track progress.
Instead of having a large number of metrics, focus on having a small number of
relevant metrics around business value, quality and lead time. The metrics should
also be easy to understand and consume for each team member regularly.
rockinterview.in
Have a full-time Scrum Master and Product Owner
Scrum Master and Product Owners are critical roles in well-performing agile teams.
However, many organizations try to find an excuse to avoid having a full-time Scrum
Master or Project Owner in the team citing reasons such as budget constraints or
Project Managers doubling up as Scrum Master.
If you want the project to be successful, invest in having solid, full-time Scrum Master
and Product Owner in the project. Do not let them multi-task or overload them with
work.
rockinterview.in
Establish Strong Engineering Practices
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are an integral part of software
development.
Automated Code Reviews, Automated Tests, Automated Builds and Deployments go
a long way in discovering problems early and resolving them.
rockinterview.in
Empower the Leaders in the Team
An effective leader is critical to building a high-performance agile team. The team
should be empowered, understood, coached and challenged by leaders of the team.
Focus on empowering, training, and coaching your managers so that they can get the
best out of their teams.
A good leader can empower their team members to take their own decisions,
recognize and reward team effort and build a culture of excellence.
Secrets Of High Performing Agile Teams
Secrets Of High Performing Agile Teams

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Secrets Of High Performing Agile Teams

  • 2. rockinterview.in The need for high-performance agile teams Companies that are successful at Agile believe that teamwork is essential to delivering great software. A high-performance agile team delivers exceptional results every time, irrespective of the challenges in front of them. A team that is motivated, engaged and collaborative contribute the most towards achieving the organization’s objectives. So, how do you go about building an engaged, high-performance team?
  • 3. 8 Secrets to building high-performance agile teams
  • 4. rockinterview.in Give them a big picture outlook Establish a clearly defined charter that is aligned with the organization’s objectives. Pick up user stories from the backlog that are in line with the organization’s vision and goals. Give each team member clear ownership of a particular area of the application such as UX, architecture, etc. Successful agile teams have a clear and common understanding of overall business objective and they have the freedom to define their individual goals in alignment with the organization’s objectives.
  • 5. rockinterview.in Smaller the better Smaller teams are nimble, can communicate and collaborate better. The sweet spot for team size is 5 to 8 members. With a high number of team members, the communication paths increase exponentially. Easier communication leads to higher performance and better output. If you have a team of greater than 10 members, consider dividing the team down into smaller groups.
  • 6. rockinterview.in Maintain a consistent team with broad set of skills Any project requires different set of skills to deliver a set of functionality in each sprint. Usually this means having multiple developers across the application stack, business analysts, architects, UX experts, and testers as part of the team. You can’t do that effectively if the team doesn’t have individuals with the necessary skill sets. Build a team that can complement each other and deliver value. With time, each individual in the team understands the strengths and weaknesses of other team members and establishes a working relationship. If a team composition changes in between the project, the teams needs to start all over again. Try to maintain the same team for the entire duration of the project.
  • 7. rockinterview.in Avoid distributed team and part-time members For a project to be executed successfully and on-time, you need team members that are fully engaged and focused on their tasks. A few part-time members can spoil the team dynamics and force others to multi-task in order to make up for the part-time members. Distributed teams are also hard. Team Dynamics are much better when the team is co-located. Try to avoid distributed team as well as part-time members if you can. In case you can’t, do the following: Spend on project collaboration tools so that the distributed teams can virtually share and collaborate. Try to reduce the number of time zones and difference between the time zones as much as possible. Arrange a team get together during project kickoff and possibly, later during important project milestones.
  • 8. rockinterview.in Identify the right metrics for the team Organizations often go with the popular metrics used in project management which are not necessarily aligned with what is expected from the team. Spent time defining metrics that help in measuring and boosting the overall performance. While the metrics must be meaningful to the team, the top management should also be able to use the same metrics to track progress. Instead of having a large number of metrics, focus on having a small number of relevant metrics around business value, quality and lead time. The metrics should also be easy to understand and consume for each team member regularly.
  • 9. rockinterview.in Have a full-time Scrum Master and Product Owner Scrum Master and Product Owners are critical roles in well-performing agile teams. However, many organizations try to find an excuse to avoid having a full-time Scrum Master or Project Owner in the team citing reasons such as budget constraints or Project Managers doubling up as Scrum Master. If you want the project to be successful, invest in having solid, full-time Scrum Master and Product Owner in the project. Do not let them multi-task or overload them with work.
  • 10. rockinterview.in Establish Strong Engineering Practices Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are an integral part of software development. Automated Code Reviews, Automated Tests, Automated Builds and Deployments go a long way in discovering problems early and resolving them.
  • 11. rockinterview.in Empower the Leaders in the Team An effective leader is critical to building a high-performance agile team. The team should be empowered, understood, coached and challenged by leaders of the team. Focus on empowering, training, and coaching your managers so that they can get the best out of their teams. A good leader can empower their team members to take their own decisions, recognize and reward team effort and build a culture of excellence.