7 Honesty Points to Kickoff Agile Software Development Projects

  • Agile
  • Software Development

29 January 2019


Transparency is the base pillar that enables inspection of everything & adaptation to changes as the next two pillars of successful Agile Software Development. This sounds great in theory even though is a challenge to make it happen for any work for hire.

If you are a product owner working with a software development partner and this rings your bell, keep reading this extra hints that I’ve learned with my customers about working well from sprint one.

As soon as the Kickoff has ended, both your team and your Agile Software Development partner’s team members know the exact practices and behaviors to project success.

On one hand, practices win games, for practices I mean three things: behaviors, technical abilities, and expertise in Agile. Each agile event (grooming, planning, standups, retrospectives, etc.) has to reinforce practices that work for the whole team.

On the other hand honesty win championships. To be totally honest at every event, it’s worth it.

  1. At Grooming sessions: Do not hide things, bring all requirements upfront. You can rewrite them or add/drop whenever you want, at any moment, of every sprint. That’s the sense of working on Agile.
  2. At Planning sessions:
    • Be flexible but firm at estimations. Define for each task the most qualified person to give early enlightenment about the estimate of that task. The honesty of each team member to indicate his/her own capabilities to get the job done and to have a method to get consensus (i.e. Story Points) are crucial to give good estimates.
    • Reduce uncertainty by bringing on the toughest tasks not included in the current sprint plan to be estimated in advance.
    • Be collaborative enough to get a wealthy mix of workload vs. team efficiency.
  3. At Standups: Bring the bigger problems to the table asap and solve them first by combining the three agile questions (What we did? What we will do? and, What are the obstacles to get there?) with a real sense of delivery speed needed for each task (real sense is first, always).
  4. At Sprint reviews: Attend this event with your whole team if you are a product owner/stakeholder in order to get their insight and ideas. Collect results in writing during the session to use in the next grooming.
  5. At Sprint code reviews: Prioritize changes driving readability and reusability over subjective “good practices”. In the long run it will be better to count on more available programmers to maintain your software as a result of having an understandable and efficient code.
  6. At Retrospective meetings: As a software development buyer is good to go deep into the four basic questions of an Agile retrospective (What’s going/not going well? and What to start/continue/stop doing?) to get solutions. Examples of going deep:
    • In tasks going well: Documenting the path of success vs. just mentioning achievements.
    • In tasks not going well: Bringing evidence to the table vs. staying on subjective/biased visions.
    • In tasks to stop doing: Asking for traceability root analysis vs. letting the door open to all team members for repeating the bad practice.
    • In tasks to start/continue doing: Asking for more than one option or improvement vs. letting the provider take the decision.
  7. Keep this in mind:

“Honesty is the best policy.” - Benjamin Franklin.

Are you ready to make agreements to get great work on Agile Software Development?

Contact Teravision for on-time and on-budget software products with nearshore software development.

  • Agile Software Development
  • nearshore software development

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