How to Successfully Build an Agile Software Development Team

How to build an agile software development team
To get benefits for your business, you should understand the essence of Agile and its core principles, and have a strategy for building or looking for an effective Agile development team. In this article, we provide an overview of the methodology and some tips on building a team using it. 

The Agile software development methodology is one of the core approaches to software creation which takes into account the quality of the final product, the conditions for effective teamwork, as well as time and money-saving opportunities.

What is Agile Software Development?

This approach to software development is based on Agile methodology which includes the joint, collaborative, flexible, and creative work of different teams in short iterations. The Agile project methodology is powered by 12 principles that define this effective approach to software development while prioritizing the final quality of the product and constant improvement during development.

Agile Project Management Principles

Below is a brief description of each of the Agile manifesto principles.

  1. Customer satisfaction. The customer should be updated on the product development process, his or her vision should match the vision of the development team while taking user preferences into account. These three points allow one to achieve customer satisfaction.
  2. Continuous delivery. The project should be developed in small steps, according to current business needs and priorities.
  3. Readiness to change. Since modern software products are developed in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment, the Agile software team should be ready to make changes and redirect the course of product development.
  4. Collaboration. This principle defines the necessity for the collaboration of team members who are united by the ultimate goal of delivering a high-quality product developed according to the customer’s requirements and end-user expectations.
  5. Support, trust, and motivation. This principle flows from the previous one. According to Agile project management methodology, effective collaboration is impossible without support, trust, and motivation from team members.
  6. Face-to-face interactions. Effective collaboration is possible when the team has the opportunity to interact face-to-face, or at least in an online conference mode.
  7. Software quality. This is one of the core Agile project management principles since customer satisfaction is impossible without ensuring the highest quality of the final product.
  8. Consistent development speed. Agile development is only effective when the team can establish a certain development speed that is followed in each iteration.
  9. The project’s specifics and skills match. Agile project management also requires team members to have the necessary skills that fit the specifics of the project. This is one more guarantee of final product quality.
  10. Simplicity. This principle states that there is no need to complicate a process that can be simplified.
  11. Self-organization. According to this principle, each member of the Agile methodology team should have strong self-organizational skills to contribute to continuous delivery, the established development speed, and the quality of the final product.
  12. Reflection and self-improvement. At the end of each iteration, the Agile dev team discusses the results, sets new priorities, and identifies the areas for improvement.

Roles and Responsibilities in the Agile Software Development Team

To make Agile development methodology work for the benefit of your project, you need several different specialists, each of which will perform a specific role. They are:

  • Product owner (PO). This person or company is either the direct product owner or the representative of the company which will use the software created.
  • Project manager. This specialist is responsible for managing all the development processes. Another important task of the project manager is to establish clear and efficient communication and to make sure that each team member has the same vision of the final product as the product owner has.
  • Software architect. A software architect is responsible for creating the skeleton of the future software. Also, he/she communicates with the project manager and product owner to explain the vision to developers.
  • Developers. Frontend and backend developers have to create the code of the future software according to the requirements of the PO and software architect.
  • Designers. User interface/user experience (UI/UX) and web designers are responsible for creating the visual shell of the future solution, taking the development trends, project specifics, and customer expectations into account.
  • Marketers. After the product passes the minimum viable product (MVP) development stage, marketers implement promotion strategies.

Reasons to Use Agile Principles for Your Development Team

The Agile model in software engineering opens up the following beneficial opportunities for the business.

  • Final product quality. The Agile development model prioritizes quality and requires all members of the team to do it as well. When the team combines the right specialists with the same vision, there is a really good chance that the final application will be of the highest quality.
  • Team’s flexibility. Remote Agile teams gathered through outsourcing are relatively easy to adjust as needed based on the changing requirements of the project. By partnering with the right vendor, the product owner can be sure that the product will be delivered on time and that the necessary specialists will be found.
  • Predictability. Projects developed in the Agile environment are more predictable since they are created according to clear principles and always have room for quick adaptation to risks, competition, and other factors.
  • Reduced risks. Since the development team is always ready for changes, there are fewer risks because of the market situation, trends, and end-user preferences.

How to Build an Agile Software Development Team

1. Choose a suitable Agile methodology

  • Scrum. This is the most well-known Agile model which is based on sprints, which are small subtasks. This approach is good for large projects that are developed in a changing business environment. The main benefit of this approach is the opportunity to develop the most essential features following the customer’s priorities. Agile Scrum methodology is suitable for large projects that are created in a dynamic environment.
  • Kanban. Kanban is an Agile approach with a high focus on task management. This is a good strategy for the full-time development teams working on large projects since it allows for smartly distributing prioritized tasks so that each member is equally involved in project creation.
  • Lean. Lean methodology is often considered a separate methodology from Agile, however, because it can be combined with Agile, some experts define it as a Lean-Agile approach. It focuses on the necessity of ongoing pre-testing and validation before getting started with actual work. Since this is a versatile approach that can be used beyond software development, it fits almost all types of projects and is especially suitable developed on a tight budget and in an uncertain environment.

2. Define your product roadmap.

The project’s roadmap is based on the owner’s requirements and the business needs, timelines and budget. As a rule, a product roadmap is better developed by the product owner in collaboration with the Agile team so that the latter can suggest more efficient solutions to problems that arise.

3. Find the right people

Hiring the right people who will follow the Agile principles at every step is essential to create a product according to this framework. That’s why it makes sense to hire an already established Agile development team. It allows one to get started with project creation instantly, passing the stage of socialization of team members and the need to adapt to each other’s work styles.

4. Invest in communication

The Agile process involves ongoing communication. The team should plan each iteration, define core tasks and priorities, discuss the results, analyze mistakes and suggest solutions. It may be a challenge for remote teams, and this is one more reason to hire an Agile team that has already established effective communication practices and reached a mutual understanding.

5. Maintain process transparency

This tip refers to the necessity of clear metrics and results reporting so that the product owner is always updated on the project development process.

More on Topic: Staff Augmentation | How Does It Work in 2021

Conclusion

Creating an application according to the Agile framework is an interesting but challenging approach. People and their values are essential to create a top-notch product. So, finding and hiring them may be a significant issue for you, especially taking the IT talent shortage into account.

Archer Software employs an effective Agile development team that will be ready to instantly get started with your project creation, follow the core Agile principles and balance the product's quality, deadlines and budget in the best manner possible. You are welcome to get in touch with our team and find out how they can be helpful!

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