Improving Team Engagement with Agile Principles - Jose J Ruiz

Improving Team Engagement with Agile Principles

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Agile Leadership

Improving Team Engagement with Agile Principles

by Jose J. Ruiz

The software development industry first popularized Agile Methodology, which was applied in project management. It grew out of frustration due to the time lag between business requirements and the delivery of result. The Agile Method provides answers to the needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can improve team engagement with Agile Method Principles. However, first and foremost, let’s familiarize ourselves with The Agile Method, which comprises of four values and 12 principles. This method can be used in various types of projects, not merely in developing software.

The Four Methods

One, individuals and interactions over processes and tools

It means people are valued much higher than equipment and processes, as people are much more flexible and adaptable than rigid systems.

Two, working software over comprehensive documentation

Documentations are written information about structures and systems, which include specs, requirements, plans, and others. However, working software is much more important as it’s an integral part of the final output.

Three, customer collaboration over contract negotiation

The Agile Method respects the customers and their ideas more than cold contracts. It doesn’t mean that the method approves violating contractual terms. It merely means that collaboration with customers are directly involved in the creation process.

Four, responding to change over following a plan

A plan might not be suitable for a specific change. Thus it’s more relevant to respond it directly. Even though a change can cost more than following a plan, it might be the best way to execute.

The 12 Principles

Principle One: Satisfy the customer early and continuously during the life of the project. Focus your team to understand the customer’s wishes and requirements early on.

Principle Two: Welcoming changes and their requirements. Your team should be made aware that this Agile Method is all about collaborations with those of various backgrounds, which is similar to “crowd working.”

Principle Three: Working product (software) should be delivered frequently so that it can be tested early and the delivery time can be shortened. A good Agile team delivers the product early, even when it still requires improvements.

Principle Four: The developing members and the business team members should work together on a daily basis throughout the project to ensure the ideas are executed properly and immediately. Working together on a daily basis increases rapport and understanding between them, which is key to solid team work.

Principle Five: Team members must be motivated enough to create the appropriate environment, support system, and self-direction. Here, your role as the leader is crucial as the facilitator and provider of guidelines.

Principle Six: Make sure team members communicate well with frequent face-to-face conversation, not merely with e-mails and other virtual communications. This increases rapport, understanding, and engagement among team members and with the customer.

Principle Seven: The working final outcome is the primary progress measure, not merely the prototype or a sample. The final product is always a work in progress, as all those who are involved would contribute as needed.

Principle Eight: Sustainable development must be implemented properly with the support of sponsors, developers, and users. Preferably, they all work in harmony together. With harmonious speed and relationship, team member engagement would come naturally.

Principle Nine: The focus should be on the detailed technical design that enhances agility. Redundancy should be removed as much as possible. Your team should have the skills and tools to deliver a streamlined product.

Principle Ten: Keep things simple, smart people. Simplicity would optimize the completion of works. Maintaining this simplicity would require a good team work.

Principle Eleven: Self-organizing teams are key to the best outcomes. An Agile team can solve problems and find solutions without being micromanaged.

Principle Twelve: Team members should self-inspect and adapt to the changes as needed. Team members should be aware of this adaptability early from the beginning. At last, Agile Method is a streamlined, no-nonsense approach that involves the collaborations among team members and between the team and the customer. It also involves the contributions from business people, not merely the technical people. Moreover, when the team engagement is high, the final product is likely to be successful

At last, Agile Method is a streamlined, no-nonsense approach that involves the collaborations among team members and between the team and the customer. It also involves the contributions from business people, not merely the technical people. Moreover, when the team engagement is high, the final product is likely to be successful.

Jose J. Ruiz
Jose J. Ruiz
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is a recruiter involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures. An important part of his time is spent on research work focused on organizational effectiveness centered on leadership and culture. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jose was a Principal with Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Industrial Practice based in Houston, TX and Monterrey, Mexico. His professional experience also includes leadership positions in engineering and operations management for manufacturing organizations in the US and Mexico. This experience includes serving as vice president and general manager at Holley Performance Products. Jose holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
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