How to make Agile teams, more agile

How to make Agile Team more efficient
Agile Team in action

Agile methodology emerged as a response to a “crisis situation” of the conventional Waterfall Method of software development. The Waterfall Method, owing to its sequential nature, works in steps on a client requirement and by the time the product is ready to be shipped, the requirement might have changed. This could mean client dissatisfaction and ultimately revenue loss for the software development firm.

Agile assumes an approach that is time-boxed and has “continuous delivery” of usable code. The teams that work on Agile Methodology review, test and reevaluate the project collaboratively with the client and make any changes that may be required. This prevents any end-of-the-project frustrations and heartburns. Also, the velocity of the Agile team is much faster due to the prioritizations of product features and constant communication within the team, as it happens in “Daily Standups”.

The Agile team comes together to work on a project efficiently through a process, what theorists call as the Tuckman’s Five Stages of Development:

Tuckman's Stages of Group Development - Agile Teams
Agile Team goes through 5 stages of development

Once the team reaches the Performing Stage, the team really does efficient development. They come together well, trust each other and start delivering as a unit.

It is important for the teams to stay unchanged and go through the stages of Development together for them to be efficient and effective.

The triad of Agile teams viz. Make, Sell and Operate – across the organization also collaborate to complete the software development process.

Agile Teams
Triad of Agile Teams

One of the cornerstone for an Agile team to be effective is the amount of communication that is needed within as well as across the connected Agile teams of “Make-Sell-Operate” in the organization. Furthermore, one needs to identify the stage of development and use the appropriate communication strategy for that stage.

Continuous feedback on a real-time basis which is authentic and relevant can shorten the duration of each stage. If we look closely, it is the pace of communication that decides the velocity of the team through each stage and at each stage, feedback can complete the communication loop. A faster real-time feedback between team members can bring the team members together and crash the total time for the Tuckman’s Stages.

Large enterprises which have multiple agile teams have realized this and are adopting the continuous feedback approach for efficiency gains in their existing Agile teams to stay ahead of competition.