Best Agile Practices to Improve Productivity

Kristijan Zdelarec, Junior Developer

Tech

04.05.2020.

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Agile is an iterative approach to software development in which developers deliver functional code to their customers in smaller iterations or sprints. Agile practices help to deliver more value in one iteration and keep developers on track with project requirements. Here are some tips to improve your team’s productivity by using the best agile practices:

Daily Stand-up Meetings

Daily stand-up meetings are the best way to detect and overcome issues in development as fast as possible. Stand-ups are based on three questions:

  • What did I work on yesterday?
  • What am I working on today?
  • What issues are blocking me?

By answering these simple questions, the team can synchronize their tasks and workflows to quickly overcome any blocking issues. Any potential discussion should be held after the daily stand-up and should include two or more relevant parties.

Dedicated Scrum Master

Scrum masters are the facilitators of the scrum, a lightweight agile framework with a focus on time-boxed iterations called sprints. Their role is to guide the rest of the team according to agile principles. They should participate in daily stand-ups, sprint planning and reviews, demos, and they should administer the scrum board. A scrum master helps to reconcile members and resolve conflicts. Sometimes, a scrum master contributes to the end sprint goals.

Sprint Review

A sprint review is an informal meeting in which the development team will present its results of the finished sprint. Review meetings can be attended by the scrum master, the product owner and by stakeholders. The purpose of the sprint review is for the team to show the customers and stakeholders the work they have accomplished over the duration of the sprint and compare it to the commitment given at the beginning of the sprint.

Don’t Stretch Sprints

Sometimes stories are unexpectedly big or a big issue occurs while working on a story and there’s a temptation to stretch a sprint just a little bit to resolve the issue and meet the goal. Sacrificing a set rhythm will not only damage your schedules, it may also set a harmful practice of constantly neglecting agreed timeframes. It is OK to fail a sprint sometimes.

Sprint Retrospective

Retrospectives are an excellent opportunity for your agile team to evaluate itself and create a plan to address areas of improvement for the future. Purpose of the retrospective is to evaluate how the last sprint went. Team performance and dynamic are discussed. There are three main questions that every team member should answer:

  • What went well?
  • What did not go well?
  • How can we improve?

Improving upon stated suggestions will bring team and its productivity to a higher level.

These agile methods helped us to have a quality development cycle. Developers are not burned out, goals are achieved and the client is satisfied. Productivity is the result of self-improvement which is achieved through daily stand-ups, retrospectives and sprint reviews with help from the scrum master over a constant period.

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