So you’ve studied all the Agile texts. You’ve read everything Tom and Mary Poppendieck have written about Lean Software. You’re estimating story points, working in iterations, standing up every day with pigs and chickens, continuously integrating…and yet you still don’t seem to be delivering value. You get to the end of the iteration and the team have several unfinished stories because they have each been working their own. They’re not pulling together as a team.
What’s gone wrong? More to the point, how do you turn the situation round?
Most Agile texts cover techniques and practices, and avoid the thorny problem of motivating the people and bringing them together into a super-functioning team. I’ve recently been a reviewer on a new book by Gil Broza which tries to redress the balance. The Human Side of Agile is written for the Agile Team Leader and has sections on:
Designing your role for outstanding value: work out how to be an agile team leader, what it means, how it fits within your organisation and skillset, and how to add value.
Growing a solid team: building a team, bringing the people together and giving them the practices and encouragement to become a super-functioning team rather than just a collection of individuals.
Engaging people in powerful conversations: structuring your communications and meetings so they make a difference.
Being the agile leader: leading and championing your team through the changes needed, working through resistance to become truly agile.
Sustaining your team for the long haul: making sure the excellent behaviours continue and become habits, so that the team continues to deliver value.
If you’re new to the role of team leader, this will help guide you through the morass. If you’ve been an agile team leader for a while, it will provide useful techniques and reminders.
It’s now on my must-have list of software development books.