Updated June 6, 2023
Introduction to Agile Practices
Computers have been the most popular mode of getting personal and professional work done. For the past at least 20 years, information technology and the software industry have also been in the boom. Since then, using agile development practices has been a way of life for IT and software companies.
Agile teams have a few advantages when compared to traditional teams:
- They are more constructive, and hence, productivity is more.
- Agile methodologies result in the delivery of higher-quality products and services.
- They are consistent regarding customer satisfaction.
Agile methodologies define their values, principles, and practices. The agile practices guide is generally derived from Scrum and Kanban.
A few of these practices are:
- Collaboration: When a customer comes in, he has his requirements. Furthermore, he/she comes in with the expectation that their requirements will be fulfilled. This makes collaboration with the customer very important. One must constantly touch the customer and update himself about the requirements and changes. This helps deliver the exact service/product per the customer’s needs and wants.
- Daily team effort: Agile techniques and practices can only be practiced with teams. Members work together as a team and come up with the final product. Quality teamwork has six requirements: communication, coordination, the balance of team member contribution, mutual support, effort, and cohesion. To ensure that the team meets these requirements, it’s essential to incorporate the agile practices guide.
- Motivated individuals should form a team: Several individuals come together to form a team. Therefore, the ultimate service/product delivered to the customer can only be of the best possible quality when the team members are cohesive. All the members must put sincere efforts into the project to be successful. To succeed, the team members must motivate themselves and center the project around them.
- Pass on information face to face: It is essential that rather than communicating through various means of communication, one should communicate directly to the required person. When one individual receives information from another individual, there is a chance that the information may not reach the intended person as intended. For instance, if someone sends a mail to him/her, there is a possibility that the mail may get lost or the receiver might miss it. This makes a face-to-face conversation very crucial.
- Self-organizing team formation: In self-organizing teams, the team decides the execution of the project. Who is given what responsibility, and who does what is decided by the team and its members? Work is divided into small chunks called iterations or workstations, and they are completed every day. Management does not have to supervise the team. The management trusts the team to make the right decisions. To achieve the ultimate goal, every team member must commit highly to their job. The team needs to share, not just responsibility and accountability. If the goal is completed, it is an achievement for the team; if not, the team learns to adapt.
- Make teams more effective: Agile teams do Performance appraisal daily as they focus on continuous improvement. They are open to coaching but do not respond well to the commands of the management. Team members should be available for self and cross-evaluation. This is the key to the improvement and development of the team.
- Set up workshops for stakeholders: The team involved in a project and the stakeholders associated with the project should set up workshops. This enables stakeholders to fully experience the team’s communication mechanism and the conducted meetings. E.g., stakeholders can assess sprint planning techniques and listen to the arguments about the entire process, planning, and the final product/service. The team may receive valuable feedback about the deliverables and collaboration efforts.
- Emphasis on time boxing: Individuals employ time boxing to address their concerns within a short time span. Sprints last according to the specified timeframes. It generally takes somewhere between two weeks to one-month time. Scrum meetings are precise and last for just fifteen minutes at maximum. It often involves having deliverables and deadlines.
- Meetings to be held regularly: This refers to the meeting regarding the final workstation and its development. We request and expect all team members to attend this meeting. Moreover, we encourage customer participation as well. These meetings discuss the chances of improving the processes, the quality of work, tools used, etc.,
- Burndown chart: This chart reflects if everything needed to complete a project is going on as per the plan decided upon in several meetings or not. It showcases the schedule and timing of the work in progress. Burndown charts will also show the number of user stories per unit of time, below or above your plan.
- Requirement prioritization: Requirement prioritization is done in Agile product management to ensure which requirement is being fulfilled first and which has to be fulfilled first. Product managers also take it up to ensure risk minimization. In this case, experienced product and project managers use well-known prioritization methods and techniques.
This has been a guide to Agile Practices. Here we have discussed the Agile methodologies, defined by their values, principles, and practices. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –