4 Innovative Ways To Improve Your Agile Team Culture
What makes a team a true Agile team and how does this affect productivity and the success of an organisation? An Agile team culture in organisations can provide a huge benefit not only to the business but to staff and teams through the use of efficient processes to enhance how projects are run. Did you know that about 75% of employers rate team work and collaboration as very important, yet only 18% of employees get communication evaluations at their performance reviews. It is important to review your organisation’s current practices and optimise them to increase efficiency while also boosting employee morale. In this article, we will explore several ways to incorporate agile practices into your company culture. Based on our experience, team-wide goal setting, a frequent feedback, building trust, and continuous improvements can enhance how teams collaborate and help to achieve great results on projects. Research has shown that Agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects.
Team-wide Goal Setting
According to research, 50% of team members are motivated more by team success than by the company’s (27%) or individual’s (23%) personal goals. Often times, goals are determined and communicated from the top down which although can be effective also can reduce morale and collaboration. Kick off sessions for projects where the company’s vision is understood, and key goals are discussed and decided on by the team and not just management has proven to result in more accountability and engagement throughout the organisation. This allows each team member to see the big picture of the projects and understand how their contributions will help achieve this goal. The team should ensure regular check in sessions are conducted to ensure their goals are delivering the overall vision.
Providing feedback often occurs at the end of the project and for individuals may only occur at a performance review. This can be ineffective as it fails to address and fix potential issues or incidents that arise during the project. Setting up an ongoing feedback process for peers and managers can improve issues and manage any discrepancies with a current project that would otherwise be missed. In addition, peer feedback and manager feedback can also prove to foster a culture of accountability and collaboration in a team. Setting up regular feedback sessions with both managers and peers working on a project can help to provide transparency and address any issues that arise during a project.
One of the key building blocks of successful teams is trust. Without trust, there are many issues that could arise that otherwise can be avoided. It is important that team members know that they will hold their end of the bargain and contribute to the team and have their team’s best interest at heart. Trust is often overlooked but is the key building block to agile culture and can be achieved through team wide goal setting, team building and transparent communications.
Improving the way we work is often times one of the most valuable components of an agile working environment. Through the aforementioned steps as well as frequent retrospective sessions help to ensure that continuous improvements are implemented following the end of a sprint. Retrospectives, which are short meetings to reflect on the results of a sprint, should be a safe place to discuss what went well with the sprint and discuss points to improve. Following the end of a sprint, a short meeting should be scheduled with the project team where the following questions are discussed “What did we do well?” and “What should have we done better?”. The discussion from these questions can be used to reference and create new ways to improve the way a team works and innovate processes that did not work well.
Bringing it all together
Integrating agile practices into company culture can prove to be challenging yet very rewarding and requires several factors to be considered for the right process to come together. This takes a team to be open to change and can often times be resisted by people in the organisation. The importance of building an agile culture is to improve how teams work together to get the desired outcomes for clients. In this article we talked about key ways to incorporate agile practices into your team culture. If applied, these key factors will help drive successful teams to achieve exceptional outcomes.