Implementing agile often means throwing out the rulebook when it comes to how teams work, how projects are organized, and even what the office floor plan looks like. This can be a difficult transition, but it's nothing to fear if you can anticipate the challenges and plan accordingly. Here are six of the greatest challenges teams face when implementing agile, along with some tips on how to avoid them.
There is a lot of interest in organizations around a transformation to agility. However, the focus is usually on agile development, so it may not be clear how software testing is done in agile. If you're responsible for leading your testing teams, don't let them be left behind. Here’s how you can make testers part of the transformation, too—step by step, because this is agile, after all.
People have different cultural backgrounds, habits, beliefs, interests, capabilities, knowledge, skills, and temperaments. When put together on a team, they can’t always be governed by a rulebook to become self-organized. The dynamics among them have to be understood to recognize the anti-patterns first. Here are six anti-patterns that must be avoided and remediated to help teams move toward self-organization.
Many of us have horrible experiences with distributed teams where we can find no possibility of collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if a team is distributed, those team members need collaborative opportunities and space. What’s important is the team’s time for collaboration, not time zones. Here are some ways you can visualize when your team works and create more quality collaboration time.
Cultural norms can hamper successful agile transformation. Many of these habits and customs are started and perpetuated by senior leadership, but that’s not always the only source of resistance. Often, ingrained behaviors and thinking can occur within the team, including business partners, that also can hinder agility. Five of these barriers are explored here, as well as mindset antidotes to help get the team on the road to agile success.
In an agile world, team members are empowered to make important decisions within the context of the behavioral architecture, without having to ask permission from supervisors or managers. But these supervisors and managers are coming from a lifetime of learning how to succeed in a hierarchical world, so they will need to leave behind those ingrained lessons. In order for agile to be successful at scale, leaders will need to change.
One common metric in agile measures team health or team happiness, but creating a way to measure this that is valued by the team is not an easy task. It’s having clarity on the reason you’re measuring these metrics and who benefits from it that gives you real value. Here are some ways you can measure this elusive quality, as well as how to make sure you're gaining useful information.
New agile teams often start projects after some brief training on the Agile Manifesto and agile frameworks. But without additional coaching, these teams will struggle to deliver continuous value to their clients. Teams should be coached on how to tackle unexpected Situations, use appropriate Tools, conduct agile Events, and adopt appropriate agile Practices—four agile STEPs.
Successful delivery of software requires the entire team, so it’s imperative that everyone choose their words carefully so they convey what they really mean, are sensitive to others’ feelings, and consider all aspects of a problem. Here are three questions to remember when communicating about your software testing projects to ensure you’re considering the power of words.
Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.