3. Perform a demo of the completed Stories.
4. Enjoy the success. The team and the customer should be excited by what was accomplished.
5. Conduct a retrospective, what went well, ways to improve - and keep it positive and honest.
Tip: a scorecard can help collect the team's feedback and the customer's satisfaction.
Adjusting the Process
The best part of using an agile process is the built-in feedback and adjustment cycles. How can you go wrong with a process that tunes itself?
Goal: Determine the ways to provide higher value in each iteration.
Team process improvement:
1. Review the process and make adjustments -- the afternoon after an iteration ends is a great time to do this.
2. Start with the results of the retrospective and the list of adjustments from the last process review.
3. Discuss what improvements to make for the next iteration and gain full team agreement.
Being agile is not easy for a new team. A team that is learning the agile way of life should start by closely adhering to proven end-to-end agile practices. Do not simply string together a selection of easy to implement low hanging agile practices that are painless to implement. Agile requires discipline and the courage to stick with it as the change will be challenging. Following the practices explained in this article will allow the team to adopt agile in a proven way that will support a successful transition to agile and early buy-in from both customers and management. Soon, the team can evolve this simple process into a more customized and personal version of agile that meets the context's specific needs while continuing to meet customer commitments.
About the Author
Lance B. Young has over 15 years of software development experience in a wide range of projects using traditional and agile methodologies. Lance began using agile development practices nearly ten years ago and has been using XP, with or without Scrum, exclusively since that time. Currently Lance is the Director of Delivery Excellence at SolutionsIQ, an IT software development and consulting firm in Redmond, Washington. Lance has led the introduction and implementation of agile best practices for more than twenty teams. He is a regular presenter at national conferences including agile 2006 and agile 2007 and an agile evangelist at a number of technical and process groups including the XP user group, Seattle Java user group, and the Seattle APLN. Lance is currently focused on designing and rolling out an agile Enterprise that utilizes agile approaches in all business areas from software projects to sales and marketing.
 Bill Wake. "INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks" ( http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0308/index.shtml)
 Mike Cohn, agile Estimating and Planning (Robert C. Martin Series), Prentice Hall, 2005
 Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Lean Software Development: An agile Toolkit Chapter 3, Defer Commitment
 Jim Schindler "Meeting Facilitation: Important Ingredient for Change"