Building an Agile Team

Building an Agile Team

Putting together a team that can work with agile methods can be difficult, but it is achievable.

Agile is a fairly common concept of working that aims to remove unnecessary processes and focuses on analysis and improvement. But how do you build a team that works well in this way?

Agile teams often bring together a variety of professionals who have a single project in common, and very little else. This is the entire point of this style of working, as you are bringing a wide array of skills to your team, instead of grouping people by their department of expertise. However, this is an alien concept for some and can mean you have a team that has no idea how to work towards the same goal.

So how do you build an agile team that can work effectively?

Identify appropriate professionals

To create a team that can work in an agile manner, you need professionals that are highly skilled in their area, but also ones that are willing to conduct themselves in the right way. This means you need people on your team who are passionate about collaborating, analyzing their own work and that of others, and able to identify areas where improvements can be made.

Most professionals can be trained and taught how to do much of this, but you'll find it incredibly challenging for people to learn to work well with others, so this should be a key factor when selecting your team.

Clearly define goals

It's likely that each member of your team has their own priorities when they start the project, and this can lead to a lack of focus, delays and even friction within the group as people disagree about which element is most important.

This means that when you start any project with an agile team, it's crucial that you work together to decide on key goals for the group based around delivery of the product or service. It's also a good idea to set up KPIs for how you will measure success at this point, as they are an important part of improving as the project progresses.

Address problems straight on

Most teams experience problems at some point, but for an agile group to work effectively it's crucial that these are resolved. If any issues arise, face them head on and encourage an open policy where professionals can discuss their feelings without being shot down. It's important that this doesn't turn into a blame game or a personal attack and that people always come back to what the key goals of the project are and how to better achieve them.

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