Showing posts with label Agile Project Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agile Project Management. Show all posts

Monday, 20 January 2014

Biggest hindrances to being agile

I often wonder how projects fail to be agile enough even though the team consists of talented team members.  So today I am planning to summarize few points that are the biggest hindrances to being agile in a team based environment.

1.  Laziness / Procrastination

I think this is by far the number one hindrance to being agile.  This habit by individuals will result in a gap that widens with each work that is being delayed.  Let me explain this a bit better.  If you are part of a QA team, your responsibilities will primarily include testing of your module perfectly.  Obviously everyone will do that.  But automating the current testing will act as a regression suite for your future needs.  How many of you would do that if automation is not mandated in your process?  The answer is not all.  

So the laziness / Procrastination sets in and the gap widens with each delayed item.  So unless automation is mandated, it will not be implemented by everyone.  So the Agile Definition of Done should include all these nitty and gritty details that makes the entire process more agile.

2.  Lack of understanding

Not everyone is comfortable with Agile concepts and the lack of understanding of Agile has a direct impact on the team performance.  No Agile is almost always better than bad Agile.  For example, trying to be Agile without giving importance

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

How to improve agility of an Agile Team

Often as an Agile Project Manager or an Agile Scrum Master, your very first challenge is to improve the agility of teams.  Before we try to go to the core topic, we will try to define what is Agility?

Wikipedia defines Agility as
"Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, and endurance"
From the definition, it is quite clear that Agility is a function of lot of factors such as Balance, Coordination, Speed, Reflexes, Strength and Endurance.

So in this article, I will try to post my thoughts on how to improve Agility of a Team in my own words of course and out of my experience.
1.  Change their mindset
Agile is a lot about mindset.  Once someone is into that mindset, obviously he/she will contribute the best to the team's cause and thereby it will increase the speed and also the agility of the team.
2.  Change your mindset
Acknowledge the fact that you need a mental conditioning as much as the team.  First of all, try to understand what Agile is all about and how it benefits the different stakeholders in the teams.  Try to understand that Agile is not a miracle game and it takes time, proper execution, support from every team member and support from team as a whole to reap its benefits.
3.  Improve collaboration
Agile is lot about team working together to complete challenging tasks rather than several team members working in silos.  Emphasize the fact that Agile is a team game.  So Improve the collaboration among the team members, ask them to pair up for some problems and encourage good collaborative team work and make collaboration a habit.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

11 areas an Agile Project Manager needs to focus on

In my previous posts I focused on the Attitudes of a Great Software Developer and the Attitudes of a Great Software Tester.  

An Agile project's success also depends a lot on the Agile Project Manager.  The decisions he takes and the emphasis he provides on certain areas will pave the way for a successful Agile Project.  In this post, I provide some key points that an Agile Project Manager should focus on, for the betterment of an Agile Project

  • Employee hiring
    • First and foremost, an Agile Project Manager needs to hire the right people for the project.  Apart from the technical skills and non-technical skills required of Agile teams, it is imperative that the chosen candidates adopt to the Agile practices and are themselves Agile.
  • Technical and Non-technical grooming
    • Once into the project, the candidates needs to be groomed to meet the project needs and also grow further.
  • Employee motivation
    • I always believed that Employee motivation is one of the Critical Success Factor of an Agile Project, for that matter any project.  Motivated employees can do wonders if provided with the right environment.  Motivated employees go that extra mile to achieve the common goals.  Hence an Agile Project Manager needs to put high emphasis on this point.
  • Engineering Practices
    • There are a lot of engineering practices that make an Agile project successful.  An Agile Project Manager should focus on putting the right Engineering Practices to place. He/She should not forget that there is an overhead in following certain practices, but once fully functional, they start to provide high returns on the investment.  For ex. following Automated Unit tests and TDD can be very difficult to start with, but over time, developers get into that practice and the results start to follow.