Somewhere along the way, agile implementations have gotten overblown and unwieldy. Managers and leaders look at all the models and frameworks and think agile adoption is too confusing or not worth the effort. To communicate what agile truly means, we have to simplify the message by getting to the heart of agile: collaborate, deliver, reflect, and improve.
The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS!
Agile and DevOps teams, which emphasize continuous improvement, can benefit greatly from effective retrospectives. However, retrospectives can get monotonous, and that’s when they become ineffective. Using gamification in your retrospectives brings a completely different dimension of thinking—and even makes the process fun.
The definition of done is much more than just a checklist for completeness—it can be a mechanism for determining where your product increment can be more complete by the end of your sprint. By using a discussion board with quadrants where you can sort sprint items, you can challenge yourself to see whether a task could be moved earlier in the lifecycle.
There has been lots of talk about the agile mindset, but what does that mean? It does not merely encompass the skills that make a successful agile team member, but also what drives a person to want to be part of an agile team. It should include the quest to learn—even when you fail—and leveraging what you learn to continuously improve on what you do.
Traditionally, the project manager or ScrumMaster is responsible for evaluating a team's performance. But peer feedback, when each member of a team picks another member, observes him or her, and then shares thoughts and suggestions about that other team member’s work, can also be very valuable to continuous improvement.
One of the most important features in agile software development is continuous improvement. However, after an initial burst of inspiration and productivity, teams may stop improving because they believe there are no issues left to address or the issues are too difficult to solve. People need to switch their mental models to keep addressing processes efficiently.