First of all, let’s face it, your team it’s not ready for Agile. It’s safe to assume that not all team members are: cross-functional, self-organizing, and problem solvers, that can continuously cope with change, and enhance the process, as the project evolves, right? And that Agile it’s’ not some recipe that you can follow and it will lead you to success.
Let’s take this slowly, and let’s review some of the aspects that you’ll need to ponder if you were to embark with your team on an Agile journey.
First, a couple of questions to ask:
What is that Agile is trying to achieve?
What is that I want to achieve by practicing Agile?
While I can help you with the first question, I can only hope that your answer to the other one isn’t — to deliver faster. To do that, you’ll need to go through some organizational changes around management, planning, and strategy, that doesn’t necessarily relate to software development.
From the Agile manifesto, we can read at its start:
We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.
What I love the most is that they don’t claim to have found, instead, they say that they are -uncovering better ways, which means that Agile needs to be adapted to every team and organization and that it needs to keep evolving, which leads little to no room for religious practices like — that’s not Agile, or that’s not Scrum.
Besides the general ceremonies that the Scrum framework suggest, I would strongly recommend you start with the following:
Please make sure that every team member understands how to estimate using points; three factors must be taken into account:
Also, the story points do not correlate to days in any manner.
From experience, I’ve found that one-week sprints work the best, here are some of the reasons:
– To correlate story points into days comes somewhat natural in a two-week sprint, where the Fibonacci sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13) tends to fall naturally. However, weekly sprints make it harder to do so.
– Pivoting it’s easier, even if the sprint just started you are always allowed to say — we’ll start working on it by next week.
– Smaller sprints will force you to make smaller user stories, which means that stories are more specific, easier to estimate, and clear for everyone.
Sprint Goal (Purpose)
Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility… in the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have… is the ability to take on responsibility. — Michael Korda
Responsibility comes to each member when they commit to deliver at each sprint. The purpose drives us towards the vision; it’s what moves us from the present to the future. Make sure that every sprint has its purpose that is one that everybody understands and agrees.
As a conclusion starting with new Agile teams should be a joyful and transparent process, regardless of the experience of each team member, we are talking about setting up a unique group of people, that will require leadership and guidance to excel at their roles and responsibilities, this by no means, can be seen as a cookie-cutter process or framework, Agile differs from workgroups due to its principles, by being created by common purpose rather than authority, with shared leadership that needs to be grown and developed.