Agile teams have always been more productive as they undertake unique approaches to create high-quality products and satisfy customer needs consistently. They ensure a shared understanding of goals among stakeholders, customers, and the project teams for better results.
IT project teams need detailed frameworks to ensure critical evaluation of procedures implemented at every step of the way. On the other hand, the iterative framework that Agile methodology entails relies heavily on self-organizing teams with cross-functional skillsets willing to take the road of improvement by critically analyzing the status quo. So, the most effective IT teams always leverage Agile best practices as their standard way of working.
With the help of an article, we have discussed seven tips for building an effective agile IT project team. Let’s begin.
- Build a Robust Foundation
Building a robust foundation for the IT project team is a critically significant step to take. A team that gels well together works even better. The agile methodology places a great deal of importance on the benefits of incorporating common values and encouraging integration, both of which characterize the promotion of cross-functional teams.
By building a robust foundation to develop teams, you can form a team that bonds well, functions in a collaborative environment, stays more productive, and ensures efficiency every step of the way.
- Set Sprint Goals Carefully
Sprint goals are effective agile tools to promote creativity and flexibility in a team. However, exploiting it can lead to disastrous consequences that ultimately impact the team’s performance.
To optimally utilize the potential of sprint goals, it is essential to:
- set right and clear objectives
- assign tasks corresponding to the objectives
- avoid overloading by adding multiple items
- start with a limited number of goals
- design the goals in collaboration with the client for better satisfaction and to move in the right direction
Overloading sprints at initial stages can hamper the creativity of teams, leading to inefficiency. Additionally, it can also lead to low satisfaction rates, low productivity, and wastage of time. With carefully articulated sprint goals, IT project teams can function in an agile and effective manner.
- Establish Sturdy Engineering Practices
Creating sturdy or robust engineering practices entails the maintenance of a structure, a clear series of steps that clarifies all tasks, goals, and KPIs. Additionally, it is also vital to ensure these steps are closely monitored, evaluated, and optimized for optimal results.
You can establish sturdy engineering practices by having task lists that are characterized by a robust structure to be implemented at every step. Such practices boost the efficiency of agile IT project teams rooted in executing iterative operations.
- Track Barriers to Improvement
Tracking barriers to improvement consistently is essential to assess the way your team works and how quickly changes are being implemented into solutions. Usually, teams face certain barriers that hinder progress and thus impact the team’s effectiveness negatively:
- Change overload is a significant issue that can overwhelm a team and ultimately reduce productivity. The list of necessary changes should not be dumped on the team all at once. It can hinder improvement.
- Lack of improvements or changes in projects is just as dangerous, as it limits the team’s creativity and reduces efficiency in the long run.
Some other troubles can be related to constraints imposed by the senior executives in terms of creative limitations, causing the team to reduce its efficiency and stop trying to improve altogether.
Keeping a check on these barriers can help ensure the team has access to ample flexibility for efficiency and productivity growth.
- Provide KPIs and Useful Metrics
Agile teams must have meaningful and contextually relevant KPIs in order to work efficiently. Providing generic KPIs based on ambiguous metrics hinders their productivity, reduces their speed, and dampens the quality of solutions being generated.
KPIs being provided to the team should always act as tools to measure and boost the team’s overall performance. They must enable the agile team to:
- Improve performance
- Measure genuine progress
- Effectively communicate progress
Additionally, teams must be trained to identify metrics relevant to their teams and valuable for their projects.
- Mentor Continuously
Mentoring is a critical aspect of managing any team. Agile teams especially require continuous mentoring in terms of a supportive environment, considering how iterative and exhaustingly demanding the creativity requirements can be for certain projects.
It is incredibly important to nurture surroundings where team members can talk, or provide constructive feedback. Whether external or internal, mentors can play vital roles in ensuring the professional growth and overall efficiency of agile teams.
- Reflect on How to Make the Team More Effective
A function core to agile teams is routinely assessing their performance and brainstorming ways to be better. Continuous improvement is a critical aspect, which is why it is essential for the team to reflect on how they can function more effectively.
Indulging into serious discussions and taking the resulting reflections seriously for improvements is a necessary step that you must ensure your teams undertake. Paired with the multiple tools that Agile teams leverage, such as Scrum or Kanban, it can prove to be exemplarily advantageous.
Agile teams are known for consistently producing high-quality outcomes while functioning in a relatively flexible way. In order to build an effective agile IT project team, it is crucial to undertake multiple steps.
In this article, we discussed seven tips for building an effective agile IT project team. Although the list is not limited to the ones mentioned by us, these tips help you ensure that highly-productive and impactful teams are established.