Time flies when you’re having fun, so the 10th edition of Jira Day in Warsaw went by in a blink! The event exceeded all expectations, and we got to hear live presentations from extraordinary people in our industry. Our goal went beyond presenting Whiteboards: we were there to have knowledge-rich conversations about Agile!
We managed to talk to folks from our niche and ask them one significant question. Read on to find out what answers we captured!
Agile for beginners — what tips would you give to people new to Agile?
It’s no surprise that Agile methodology can loom large in people’s minds. If you’ve never heard about or worked in such a way, you might think you’ll only encounter obstacles along the way. We totally understand your concerns on how to do Agile right, and to make Agile newbies’ lives easier, we asked our industry friends for some advice.
Our colleague, Paweł Mazur, created short recap videos where he asked one simple question — what advice would you give to teams new to Agile? We’ve picked some of the best advice for you.
Here they are:
- Read many guides and books. Choose the methodology that would work best for you.
Plenty of books, tutorials, or courses on Agile, Kanban, or XP are available for everyone! Pick the best ones to gather first-hand knowledge and soak yourself into this world. Read the information carefully and make notes of methods you would like to try when working with your team.
Familiarizing yourself with different methodologies will be the first step if you want to incorporate one of them into your job. Don’t force yourself to understand and test out everything at the very beginning. Adapt to the prevailing conditions — this approach is extremely important and valuable here.
- Talk to Agile practitioners.
Remember that you’re not alone when it comes to the Agile journey. Find online groups or attend conferences to meet with Agile practitioners and enthusiasts. You’ll be surprised how vast this community is!
Surely, they will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Ask them for their best Agile advice or what mistakes to avoid at the beginning. Use their suggestions to improve your current work style and collaborate better with your team in the future.
- Don’t forget to talk to your team.
Once you introduce your teammates to the methodology you want to incorporate into your work, don’t forget to regularly talk to them and ask for their opinions and feedback. Communication is the key when working on complex software development projects or multiple products. Collaborate with your team as often as necessary to keep everyone in the loop and stay motivated.
- Start small. Iterate out. Build as you go.
The simplest advice one can hear when trying to become Agile is adapting. Discuss with your team how you can start adjusting your work and processes and test just a few new things at the beginning to see if they stick. If not, iterate.
Change the way you work, cooperate, and collaborate with your team. Find out what works best and what doesn’t, and always keep that “adaptation” mindset. Eventually, you’ll end up with methods that will keep your employees motivated and productive throughout the entire day, week, or sprint.
- Be close to customer needs.
Just as you should listen to your colleagues’ feedback, gather any observations from your customers as well. After all, they are the ones who use your solution, product, or application. Reassure them that their opinion is at a premium and take it into account.
You will feel most successful after hearing how much your proactive approach and the provided changes made your customers’ lives easier.
- Be open-minded and trust your team.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Anger and irritation might creep into your team if it’s micromanaged or individuals don’t get along.
Don’t be afraid to give your team members the power to make more of their own decisions. There’s no point in checking the tiniest details or not listening to the customers’ feedback. Trust that your coworkers know what to do and only want to deliver the best version of the product.
- Embrace the change. Go with the flow.
It is extremely convenient when things are arranged, set, and done with processes in mind. However, remember that this way of operating may not work for everything. And definitely not for everyone.
Instead of insisting on staying true to strict processes, be sure to promote change as well. Take on tasks different from your usual daily routine, listen to your teammates’ feedback to implement the changes they suggest, and treat feedback as an opportunity to grow. It is certainly not an attack on you when comments get negative!
Professional burnout or fatigue are serious issues. Don’t let them sneak into your team and affect your colleagues’ mood or the project’s end result. Minor adaptations can help the whole team!
- Always do retros.
Whether the feedback on Agile methodology is positive or negative, meeting with the team is always a good idea to discuss a particular time period or project. This way, you’ll be able to look at your work from a different perspective.
Retrospectives are perfect for analyzing past events so that you can start, stop, or continue working with the proposed Agile methods in the future. During such sessions, people are also more likely to share their opinions, and they can help you move forward.
To add color to retrospectives, use templates or games! In one of our recent articles, you will find a detailed description of retrospective ideas for remote teams, retro games you can play, and a list of all available retro templates within Whiteboards.
We hope that the tips we’ve outlined in this article will encourage you to delve deeper into the topic of Agile and try it out with your organization.
It’s certainly not an easy task, and it might take several months to become Agile, but the benefits it brings will prove it was worth trying. If you are not sure which methodology to choose, read our article on the top 9 types of Agile methodologies. Start with the one you think will work best for your team and adapt accordingly to suit your needs!
If you don’t know where to start, have a look at our templates library! We have plenty of Agile templates to choose from!