Agile Thinking

5 Reasons Why Agile Is Not Working for Your Team

You have gathered all the top talents, so you think that they will do better with agile methodology. Why has not it worked out then? In his blog, Viktor Cessan discusses 5 reasons why agile is not working for your team with co-author Stefan Lindbohm.

Is Your Team Not Agile Enough?

When the team repeatedly fails to become agile, you might think that you are not cut out for it. Before you give up, go through the 5 reasons why agile is not working for your team:

Agile Is the Solution to All Problems: The team is doing stand-ups and updating the “Definition of Done” regularly. You are following all the processes, yet the output is poor. The team might be suffering from job insecurity, siloed knowledge pool, attrition, low team morale, etc. These problems drain them psychologically. Provide an enabling work environment.

Find out the underlying challenges before introducing agile to your team. Find out how your team is doing on three fronts—inspiration, organization, and knowledge. The SCARF model can address psychological issues.

Solving All Their Problems: You know you are better at problem-solving, but you must encourage the team to solve issues on their own.

It is not the problem but the team’s approach towards solving it. Enable them to rely on their problem-solving capabilities. Understand the differences among helping with the problems, teaching how to solve those, and encouraging to find solutions.

Not Encouraging Team Bonding: You have selected all the top performers but still the team is performing sub-optimally. You cannot expect members from various walks of life, beliefs, and temperaments to work seamlessly. Members must know each other’s strengths and weaknesses to work as a unit.

To understand the importance of team bonding, read up Susan Wheelan’s “Creating Effective Teams” and the Tuckman model. Prep the team up by talking about team vision and current success rate. Encourage members to share opinions about the team and how they intend to improve the journey. Analyze if they are ready to fulfill current goals.

More Planning in the Initial Stage:  An agile team should get the time to know each other but planning the entire project slows down project pace. Smaller deliverables can test agile team bonding. Client appreciation will boost your team’s spirit.

Set clear objectives for the agile team. Motivate them to deliver short deliverables in the first week. Celebrate quick win to boost them. Increase the complexity and range of their scope, workshops, and exercises as you progress.

Not Boosting Team Productivity: Displaying a high level of energy during team meetings does not always transform into high productivity. Find out where the agile team is lagging so that it can improve performance.

Talk about team collaboration style, performance level or your expectation regarding its performance based on their capability. Ask the members’ opinion on team coordination, customer feedback, technical knowledge, and individual performance and happiness quotients.

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