Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Importance of an Agile Team’s Rhythm

The Importance of an Agile Team’s Rhythm

Setting up a new agile team?  Where do you start?
When setting up a new agile team it is important to immediately get that team into a rhythm.  Begin with the daily stand up meetings.  Schedule these meetings for the same time and place everyday.  This will help form the team’s basis of rhythm.  Once this rhythm basis is set, extend that rhythm to other project related meetings.  Depending on your team’s release plan, schedule the sprint planning meetings and sprint review and retrospective meetings to occur on the same day and place on a regularly scheduled basis.  If you have other required organizational meetings, verify these are also rhythmic and remember to keep the team from getting bogged down in approvals.  Also, help the Product Owner to not get tied to organizational deadlines by scheduling releases around those from the start of the project.  This simple strategy will keep the team moving and focused on the overall goal of product delivery.  As the team matures, their velocity will increase and hopefully you will need to adjust the rhythm to keep up.

Below is a sample schedule that could be useful:

Meeting Name
Next Occurrence
Stand Up
Room B
Sprint Planning-Part A
Every 20 days
Room A
Sprint Planning-Part B
Every 20 days
Room A
Release Approval
Every 20 Days
Board Room
Sprint Review and Retrospective
Every 20 Days
Room D

Other areas of impact:  Maintaining this chart in the conference room where the daily stand up meetings will occur will keep the team focused on the next step and all team members will know what is next and when it will happen.  This will also help the Scrum Master in scheduling the conference rooms with recurring events and help the team’s stick-to-itiveness (Sticking to the schedule).

Remember:  In the event something disrupts the team’s defined rhythm, Stop, Reassess and Start Over.
Happy Scrumming…..


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