Teamwork and Collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration are two highly effective traits that define the success of any team. But many times, these traits are bundled under soft skill categories and are not much focused upon. When left unchecked and the right focus is not given in upholding these traits it can end up being detrimental to the team growth and functioning. In this piece, the approach would be to pick up Agile methodology as a means to grow teamwork and collaboration and walk through the different phases of its lifecycle management and the benefits it brings to the success of the team and the project.
Agile In the team work, it is utmost important as to what a team follows as a process to execute and complete a project. With respect to Software Development, one of the most effective and well accepted methodology for handling projects is Agile. It is an iterative way of improvising and completing the project. It helps the team deliver the deliverables in-time in iterative manner so that they can always improvise on the previously done work.
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How it works
Agile methodology relies on many characteristics of a team like Self organizing for a cross-functioning team. The success rate majorly depends on what methodology a team is follows during the execution of the project. It is this methodology that helps the team to be on toes in completing the deliverables within the given deadline. It is believed that, world-wide only 34 percent of the projects end up getting completed. That means more than 50 percent of the projects fail before it gets to execution. Easily one can take a guess and attribute the reason for this failure to the process being followed by the team, because the process defines the outcome. Agile is particularly famous because, as the name suggests, it is very responsive to the rapid changes.
These changes are nothing but the changes in the requirements or the customer demand. Especially in Software development field, these requirements, and demands of customer change every three to four months. To actually cope with such rapid changes, Agile comes into play. Now that we know what the Agile process is and the advantages of it, let us know how it can be implemented. There are multiple ways to implement Agile methodology. These different ways dictate different techniques to implement the methodology. These techniques vary based on the approach a team takes. Some techniques are advantages to a team and some may not be advantageous.
It is therefore left to the Project Manager or at the Team Lead’s discretion to choose the way to implement the Agile methodology. These are the two well-known frameworks of implementing Agile methodology – the Scrum framework and the Kanban framework. In this paper, we will be expanding majorly on Scrum framework. Scrum Scrum was originally developed for managing a project and to control the processes for complex Web software projects (for complete process overview, please see Schwaber and Sutherland 2010).
This methodology is backed by the principle that customer’s mind changes frequently and demands vary over time. To combat the unpredictable changes, the scrum has its rules laid out to help the team mitigate the problems and come up with an effective strategy. Scrum is not an acronym. Many get confused that it is an acronym. Let us now deep dive into how the scrum is implemented. What are the different roles and ceremonies about scrum? The scrum divides the project into multiple fixed length duration called ‘Sprints’.
Typically, in software development cycle, a sprint lasts around two weeks, which accounts to 10 business days typically. The work is divided in such a manner that the milestone set for that sprint will be completed at the end of the sprint. At the end of every sprint of the software development cycle, the team should be ready to ship the product with all the tests and quality checks done. The trick lies in how the team breaks down the project and work together to complete the project. The following ceremonies help the team divide and conquer the project. The following are different ceremonies that the sprint involves.
Daily Stand-up: This is a daily sync-up meeting, typically carried over for around 10 to 15 minutes for a team of around 5 people. This plays a very important role in making sure no person on the team is stuck for some reason. As a team, there involves a lot of dependencies within the team and any of the team members should not be stuck because of a work from another team member. This daily sync up will ensure all team members communicate with each other. This also ensures that no team member is going in the wrong direction. It keeps the team in the track on a daily basis.
Sprint Demo: The sprint demo gives an opportunity to showcase the part of the project completed in a sprint’s time to the product owners. The product owners are sometimes the project managers. During the sprint demo, the project management expects the product to be in a good shape and as expected. The expectation that is set in during the sprint planning must be met and showcased in the sprint demo.
Sprint Retrospect: This is a team meeting effort. The retrospect gives an opportunity to review the do’s and don’ts of that sprint. This helps the team rectify the mistakes in the coming sprint so that same mistakes are not repeated again. The outcome of the retrospect should be a list of action items listing what to do and what not to do for the next sprint. Roles Now that we talked about processes, the scrum will not work without the contribution of each and every team member.
To lead the effort to implement the scrum and make sure the scrum is followed, there is a designated person on the team designated as the Scrum Master. The scrum master is the champion of the scrum team. Many people mistake scrum master as a policeman, policing what everybody is doing, and micromanage the team members, which is incorrect. The role of the scrum master is to make sure the process is followed by every team member. His work starts with collecting the requirements from the project management or product owners or stakeholders and end at conducting successful retrospect and coming up with action items.