In every organisation, when we consider good teams they have employees who have exceptional organisational and personal skills. However, when we consider forming Agile teams, expectations are exponential. An Agile team is expected to deliver quality work in an efficient manner. In this article, we will discuss the key characteristics that make an Agile team truly ‘Agile’.
The first and essential characteristic required for an Agile team is a clear sense of purpose. Nobody can perform to his best unless he knows what he is doing and what would be the likely consequences of his actions. Having a purpose motivates team members to work tirelessly in achieving assigned goals. Without a meaningful purpose an Agile team is no better than any other team, however, instilling this sense of purpose gets covered by the Agile coach. Usually, the product owner may articulate the purpose, by stating the commercial utility of the software being developed.
Efficient Agile teams exhibit effective communication sans behavioural barriers. Teams possessing robust communication skills have the ability to resolve issues quickly and outperform other teams. An Agile team is supposed to communicate effectively and present challenges before they become a problem. Moreover, Agile teams are designed for iterative product formation, communication, therefore, becomes an integral feature of its very existence.
Since an Agile team is basically a cross-functional entity with members from different departments working together to achieve the same goal, transparency in sharing information and ideas become indispensable. For an Agile team, sharing of ideas and collaborating for generating solutions and betterment is decidedly constitutive.
Since transparency is a necessity for building an effective Agile team, trust is another facet that brings cohesion and dependency within a team. Without trust, a team will disintegrate into elements of doubt and despair. Trust enables team members to come up with issues that are bothering them and to seek help without any second thoughts regardless of possible humiliation and disgrace.
Agile teams work on a continual solution finding cycle with an aim to arrive at a fully deliverable product. However, perfection cannot be achieved until the team is willing to identify and accept inherent deficiencies and improve upon them. An Agile team expects its members to come up with best possible solutions. Even though it has everyone on board, team continually need room for improvement.
Creating an Agile team with the best available resources is something which requires high-end processing. However, in order to create an exceptional team, you have to coach them. As to Lyssa Adkins and various authors, coaching Agile teams is mandatory to develop above-mentioned traits.