Agile Values and Teams

As a really great experience I had the pleasure to think together with Allen Holub at the Agile: principles, practices and architecture workshop on SDD Deep Dive conference.
We discussed a lot of topics in connection with agile, how it is misinterpreted and misused within a lot of companies, what useful practices can be used in order to define and develop a team’s own process for working together efficiently and the connection between the organisational structure, the working process and the architecture.

I would like to go a little deeper into the concept of an agile team. The basis are the core agile values: COMMUNICATION, SIMPLICITY, FEEDBACK, RESPECT and COURAGE and the four principles of the Agile Manifesto. Everything relies on them, you need to have these working within the organisation for agile teamwork to happen.

The team is expected to possess all the necessary competencies for the work to be done. A really important ingredient that a lot of organisations tend to forget is that the team includes an on-site customer or someone who is totally in alignment with the customer’s needs. (In Scrum this is called the Product Owner.)
Team members work together on a daily basis and choose what they are working on from a prioritised list of stories and tasks.

The team is self-organised, like the geese in the V-formation, leadership is rotating within the team, the members of the team help and motivate each other, this way the team becomes faster and more effective together.

Agility is about responding to change and being flexible so the team should define its own process of working through constant adaptation.

For this they need:

  • to be able to give and receive FEEDBACK
  • to have the COURAGE to be transparent
  • to RESPECT each other and believe that each member of the team adds value to the work
  • to maintain open COMMUNICATION within the team and outside as well
  • to find and implement the SIMPLEST solution that is easy to develop, maintain and change.

We need to work on the values to be in place for the best process to develop!