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Agile Development: Tips For New Teams

by / February 26, 2014

Making the change to Agile development methods from more traditional project management systems requires a complete organizational and thought process overhaul. After you understand the ins and outs of the roles, schedules and meetings, here are a few tips that can help your newly converted team:

Focus on the Big Picture

Sprints require long days, close collaboration and focus (there is a reason startups offer lots of perks to their employees). When you are tired or frazzled, it’s easy to let little issues seem bigger than they are. When this happens, take a deep breath and remember the goal: Agile development gets your product finished, faster and to market before your competitors.

Don’t Be Late

Being late for work isn’t on anyone’s “to-do” list, but timeliness is more critical during a sprint since the morning meeting is crucial to the day’s plan. Miss the meeting and you’ve missed a lot.

Talk to My Master

Even though the rest of the company likely has been told you are now working on a sprint schedule and that you can’t be distracted with outside tasks, they will likely try to slip some work to you anyway. When that department VP or manager asks you to work on something else “for just a few hours,” calmly direct them to the Scrum Master, it’s the master’s job to deflect these requests until after the sprint.

Lean on Your Team

Agile development requires working closely with the other team members. In a traditional software development atmosphere, you might feel hesitant to disturb your co-workers with questions and opt to do some research and try to muddle through alone. In Agile, time is of the essence, if another team member knows the answer, it benefits the whole team to work together to solve issues quickly and move on.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

Agile is results-oriented and sprints happen fast. Remember, not everyone will make every goal in every sprint. They are an aim. Celebrate the wins and use the losses as a learning experience for the next sprint. The more practice you have with sprints, the better you’ll get at managing time and solving issues that come up quickly and efficiently.


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