6 Ways to Inspire Truly Agile Teams

6 Ways to Inspire Truly Agile Teams
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Your team may have adopted an Agile work methodology. But that doesn’t mean you have an Agile team.

The principles of Agile can be a real game-changer. Who wouldn’t want a team where business owners and developers work closely together on the project? Simplicity, attention to good design, trust and support – these ideas and more make Agile an ideal way to create software.

But for many teams, the introduction of Agile principles does not transform them into an efficient, effective software-making machine. Without the right motivators, innovation and metrics in place, your team may continue to have the same problems that existed before you implemented Agile.

It all comes down to people. Team members must have the right means and motivation, or the goal to become truly Agile will never become a reality.

Consider these six strategies that can inspire your team to be truly Agile:

  1. Define specific career paths for your team. Developers aren’t just in it to write line after line of code. QA pros don’t just want to run tests. They want to see a future that excites them. Learning and adhering to Agile principles should be part of this process. By creating career paths and showing exactly what is required to take the next step, you will gently steer team members closer to Agile methodology, while also inspiring them to give their best efforts to the project at hand.
  2. Alter your attitude toward failure. In software development projects, the team rarely follows a straight line from proposal to final project. In fact, failure to achieve certain milestones may point out a greater issue that needs to be addressed. The user story may be too daunting. The target may keep moving. Be open-minded and talk with the team about how to make the next stage of development a success, rather than focusing on the negative. This lens on flexibility, lessons learned and adaptability will help during every step of the development process.
  3. Encourage creativity and innovation. If your team did not use Agile methodology in the past, this is particularly important for your business. Don’t accept the idea that “we did it this way last time.” Remove barriers to creativity, such as fear of being mocked or difficulty stepping out of comfort zones. Reward out-of-the-box thinking. Never laugh at original or seemingly outlandish ideas. Brainstorming should be a true, free flow of ideas. You can reinforce this by including Spike user stories as part of your backlog. Use different meeting formats to get the communication flowing. Above all, give the team confidence to take risks. Without risk, there is no innovation.
  4. Boost informal communication. In the past, your team members may have relied on formal meeting with clients, business owners and each other. Encourage more short, informal talks, whether in person, on the phone or via instant messenger. The more your team communicates, the faster problems will be solved.
  5. Give serious training. Don’t expect your team members to wake up Agile one day. Provide the training they need in both hard and soft skills. This might mean learning new technology in a classroom setting, sharing knowledge among each another, or being part of the decision-making process.
  6. Be appreciative. Everyone needs to hear sincere, specific compliments. Provide both formal and informal feedback. This will build trust between you and your team members.

Don’t let your team stagnate because Agile hasn’t truly become a way of operating in your office. Let GAP help you become truly Agile.