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The Misery of Pseudo Agile Teams

Akansha Mathur Jun 24, 2022

Digital Transformation Agile Methodology Agile Software Development Agile Team Management

In this era when technology is evolving at a lightning-fast pace, Agile has become the favorite and the most powerful methodology that every industry is trying to adapt to. On one hand, where the project teams are overwhelmed and want to embrace this transformation, to deliver quality products to their customers with speed, expecting “PAT ON THE BACK” and “appreciation notes ” for their timely and successful delivery, they miss the “agile mindset” and are entangled in between “How we do it” and “How it should be”, which fails them in adopting Agile.

It is an old saying that “Time is Money”. I remember back in my school days when my parents used to say “Don’t waste your time”, they meant it out of their experience as they knew that every minute I waste then I will lose my money in the future. Why am I choosing this example?

In this blog, I will address the major challenges and mind blocks of the agile teams, that make their agile journey miserable and when they find themselves in the middle of a cyclone they end up creating a new version of Agile.

Let us go through some of the key challenges that are encountered in agile transformation and how teams can overcome that, resulting in time optimization:

1. Absence of self-organized teams

As we know, an ideal agile team does not have any manager as the teams are self-driven and do not wait for orders and instructions to decide what to do, how to do, and how to proceed. For successful adoption of agile, the team must shift their mindset to agile. It is not “DO AGILE”, it is “BE AGILE”.

To overcome this, inherit culture, the manager should set the expectations in the team to be self-driven and increase the communication among the team. Once the dependencies are reduced within the team, a lot of idle time can be saved, increasing the team's productivity and velocity.

2. Not using the Agile tool effectively

The teams are not implementing the agile tool to its fullest capacity. Some of the common mistakes are poorly written user stories, missing acceptance criteria, and not configuring the required fields to use the tool efficiently and make reporting easier. Hence it does not build their confidence in the tool and they end up switching to a traditional reporting mechanism i.e. Excel.

The agile team should understand the problem statement that the tool is designed for and customize the tool and use it effectively rather than switching to excel for comfort and control. This will reduce their efforts and time in duplication and also accuracy of data can be ensured.

3. And the star performer of All “Teams not capturing their efforts in the tool”

It is well known that time-tracking is something that most of us dislike, but in this journey of embracing agile, the team needs to take responsibility for their own time and monitor self-progress daily to know the performance and strengthen the accountability in the team. In waterfall, it is easy to manage the progress and accommodate the delays, but it is very costly and difficult to identify the problem later.

While agile gives us the freedom to monitor the progress and identify issues early, it is very important to track our time to understand at a granular level where we can improve.

Tracking the time against stories and tasks efficiently in the agile tool can systematically improve the sprint planning, capacity, and velocity of the team. It will also help customers to build more confidence in teams as customers also pay for the amount of time that we spend on the services and tracking time religiously in the tool will help us quantify our timesheets.

Being and adopting agile requires a shift in the traditional culture of the organization, as well as the mindset of the teams. The teams must reduce the interdependencies, the tool should be used religiously, and time tracking should not be considered overhead. The data collected in the tool can help the teams manage their work, monitor their progress and performance, and achieve a smooth pace. And since the customer pays for the time we invest, the saying fits “TIME IS MONEY”.

e-Zest is a leading digital innovation partner for enterprises and technology companies that utilizes emerging technologies for creating engaging customers experiences. Being a customer-focused and technology-driven company, it always helps clients in crafting holistic business value for their software development efforts. It offers software development and consulting services for cloud computing, enterprise mobility, big data and analytics, user experience and digital commerce.