Implementing agile software development practices is not an instantaneous and smooth process—it requires a collaborative effort between management and the delivery team. When embarking on an agile transformation, you need to be prepared to face some challenges.
What follows is a list of important things to remember while implementing agile software development practices.
Establish a Culture of Trust
Building a culture of trust within a company isn’t easy, but when it comes to agile software development, it’s essential. Establishing trust takes effort from teams and leaders, who should be deeply engaged in every step of the process.
When managers don’t listen to team members, don’t understand them, condemn mistakes, and don’t foster an environment for open communication, they fail to build trust within the organization. Here are some useful tips to start building trust:
- Listen to your employees and ask them for advice. You might be surprised by what useful and constructive feedback you receive. You may learn of problems that you didn’t even know existed.
- Lead by example. Show trust to your employees and they will reciprocate.
- Encourage open communication. Work to establish a culture of “radical candor,” where everyone can share their thoughts honestly and without fear. By doing so, you will avoid distortions and will always stay grounded in reality.
- Don’t punish the team for mistakes. Take ownership of mistakes, fix them, then use them as shared learning opportunities.
When combined, these principles foster a culture of trust. Without trust, the transition to agile software development is impossible.
Build a Framework That Enables Continuous Improvement
Agile methodologies advocate for continuous improvement, which necessitates a sustained effort to improve working processes, as well as products or services. This on-going process is essential to building an agile environment that delivers value. Continuous improvement seeks to motivate teams and enable their members to increase skills and share knowledge, not only with each other but also with people from other teams.
To ensure that agile methodologies bring the expected results, processes should be continually evaluated for their efficiency and effectiveness, then improved upon. This requires a flexible culture where teams are able to quickly adapt to rapidly changing situations. When processes, products, and services improve, so too will relationships and strategies. It’s all about getting better together.
Continuous improvement helps to streamline and optimize workflows, improve quality, reduce costs, save time, and engage team members.