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Be agile – Follow the Manifesto

Share with OthersAgile teams can be described as “self-organizing” and “self-managing.” But, what exactly does that actually mean? These terms are often used, but they are not well understood. Teams must be able to act in order to “be” agile.
Behaviors describe actions. They are easily observed and readily apparent to all members of the team. Teams must clearly identify and label the desired actions and interactions in order to “be” agile. These traits are clearly defined and communicate expectations.
The Agile Manifesto provides guidelines on how teams should work together and operate in order to “be” agile.
Agile Values & Principles
Agile is a mindset that is described by the four values statements and 12 principles of the Manifesto. The principles are how to achieve them.
These values are the foundation of Agile teams.
Individuals and interactions with processes and tools
Collaboration with customers in contract negotiation
Our projects are only as good as the people who work with them. Customers and employees must be valued. Establish a safe and open environment that encourages respect.
The value of processes, tools, and agreements (contracts), is immense. They provide the structure and parameters that enable our team members. They do not guarantee success.
These five principles give insight into the behavior of high-performing Agile teams.
Principle #4: Business people and developers must collaborate daily throughout a project.
Daily engagement breaks down silos that hinder collaboration. Silos exist throughout the value-delivery chain. Customer dissatisfaction is caused by problems between technology and business. Inefficiency and dysfunction are caused by silos of technology teams.
Traditional teams are characterized by a low level of engagement, which creates a “us” versus the “them” mentality. People feel misunderstood which leads to frustration and a downward spiral of mistrust.
This dynamic is created by working together every day. People communicate with each other. They ask questions and make less assumptions. They are open to receiving input and provide feedback. Even a small change can have a big impact.
The entire team dynamic was dramatically altered by the co-location of a business application owner and her development team. Before Agile transformation, both the application owner and her development team were frustrated and blamed one another. However, mutual respect was achieved by working together.
Principle #5: Build projects around motivated people. Give them the support and environment they need and trust them to do the job.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, factories and mass production dominated our landscape. Today, we live in the information age. Peter Drucker coined knowledge workers in the 1950s, as we are at the edge of this shift. This shift in workplace management required new management theories, and practices.
Douglas McGregor’s Theory X & Y portrayed both the old and the new management styles. Theory X managers are focused on control and oversight. Theory Y managers believe that employees are internally motivated. Abraham Maslow also added Theory Z managers who foster creativity.
Dan Pink and David McLelland described how intrinsic motivators drive modern workers. People want to feel that their work matters. They want autonomy in how they do their work and to feel part of a group.
Experience and data show that managers have a new role: to create an environment that allows teams to thrive. People do their best work when creativity and innovation is encouraged.
Principle #6: Face-to-face communication is the best and most efficient way to communicate information to and within a team of developers.
People are wired to communicate face-to–face. More than 90% of communication is nonverbal. The majority of communication is non-verbal.
We should communicate when trying to solve complex problems and collaborate on them.