Nearshore software development—or working with teams in similar time zones—have different challenges from teams that are collocated. They might find it easier to work in a traditional, hierarchical structure, but agile practices are actually still an ideal way to work through these challenges. Here's how an agile mindset can help nearshore development teams improve communication, organization, and processes.
With traditional software development methods, you are betting that end-of-lifecycle testing will let your team correct all risks, but experience has taught us that this seldom happens. With agile, you are incrementally reducing risk with every iteration and release you do, mitigating risks as you go. This article examines each of the value statements from the Agile Manifesto to illustrate how agile ultimately helps us reduce product risk.
One of the huge benefits of agile is improved or increased quality. However, many newly agile teams report their product quality decreasing at the rate at which delivery is increasing. Leanne Howard has some solutions for these teams, including making quality everyone's responsibility and embracing a shift-left mentality. To get accelerated quality in your agile initiatives, you have to truly be agile.
Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively.
Scrum teams are meant to become self-sustaining, so it’s natural for project managers to wonder how they will fit into this new environment. But they still have important skills. Their new role may—and probably will—look different from the traditional project manager role they’ve been used to, but there are still plenty of opportunities to provide real value to their new Scrum team.
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.
Agile isn't something you can adopt through tooling; you have to adhere to the agile principles every step of the way. The top articles from 2018 show that people were looking to improve and refine their agile practices, with popular topics including how to enhance your daily standups, retrospectives, and planning. Check out this roundup for ways to enhance your agile operations.
Daily standup meetings can turn into a perfunctory chore, with everyone simply going through the motions. It’s the ScrumMaster’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen and the meetings remain useful for everyone. With these five ideas, the ScrumMaster can actively help daily scrums be effective and encourage communication, transparency, and efficient delivery of value.
Too often, customers have a “fake certainty” about the problems they want to solve. They might not have defined the real problem, but they have frequently defined the solution anyway. The risk is that we might build the wrong thing. When the product owner works with the customers to define the problem, then works with the team to define the solution, everyone can win.
Having your organization make the mental shift necessary to adopt agile is the first important step in an agile transformation. But once you decide you want to change, now what? Should you attempt your agile adoption yourselves or hire an expert? Joel Bancroft-Connors details the benefits and downsides of going it alone and of using contract, consultant, and full-time agile coaches so you can decide what's best for you.