The one word that best encapsulates the spirit of an agile project is teamwork. You cannot be truly agile without teamwork.
You may want to be. You may think you are. You may even use agile techniques. But if your “team” members are favoring their individual agendas; if they are more interested in personal goals; if they lack focus and commitment to the team…you cannot be agile.
Most people want to be part of a team — preferably a successful team. To get there, begin with the following steps:
- Define clear goals and objectives for the project.
- Explain why the goals and objectives are important and to whom.
- Be sure that every team member understands his or her role.
- Assign clear individual goals and deliverables (using your definition of ‘done’).
- Give everyone a chance to be heard and contribute beyond their area of expertise.
- Monitor workloads carefully. Seek a balance across the team.
- Recognize successes with lots of small celebrations.
Good teamwork can make up for many shortcomings in the process and the tools. Good teams will find a way to succeed if you let them.
Lay the groundwork. Get out of the way. And let the team be agile.